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Board of EducationMeetings →October 27, 2008

Board of Education Meeting: October 27, 2008

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Full Agenda (PDF)

Approval of the Agenda; Recognition of Eric Kuhn

Recognition of Eric Kuhn : The Board recognized Eric Kuhn, special education resource teacher at Lakelands Park Middle School, for his unique advocacy efforts on behalf of the Jackson family in Poolesville, Maryland. Mr. Kuhn worked tirelessly to convince producers of ABC television’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs to combine efforts on a project that resulted in the construction of a new home for this deserving family. Kuhn was honored by the Board of Education as “an outstanding special educator and instructional leader who fosters and promotes the mission and vision of this school system.”

Public Comments
Board/Superintendent Comments
Consent Items
Dialogue on Foreign Language Offerings

The Board discussed the need for strong foreign language instruction in public schools, particularly in light of the demands of a global economy and anticipated needs for fluency in less commonly taught languages, such as Arabic and Chinese.

The foreign language program in Montgomery County Public Schools currently provides instruction in 10 different languages. During the 2007-2008 school year, approximately 27,000 high school students, which is about two-thirds of all high school students, and 16,000 middle school students, which represents more than half of all middle school students, enrolled in foreign language courses for high school credit. This far exceeds national figures.

Nearly 1,900 students participate in elementary and middle school language immersion programs. Thirty-five percent of students graduate with four or more high school credits in foreign language. This year, approximately 2,500 students are enrolled in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate foreign language courses.

The foreign language program in MCPS has grown over the years in response to demand, and the current extensive program lacks cohesion in some aspects and stretches system capacity, according to a staff report. Work remains to be completed on a district-wide master plan for foreign language. In addition to establishing a formal process for introducing new languages or programs, recommended next steps include:

  • Monitoring course offerings within clusters to prevent gaps in articulation.
  • Establishing a process for addressing attrition among students enrolled in foreign language courses.
  • Investigating distance and online learning offerings.
  • Developing guidelines for middle school foreign language programs.
  • Exploring models for professional development and curriculum resources
Board of Education Items

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