Important Board of Education Hearing tomorrow – Can You Attend?

Richard Montgomery Cluster Coordinator Jennifer Young will be presenting testimony to the Board of Education on the MCPS Capital Budget for FY 2014 and amendments to the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for FY2013-2018 tomorrow, November 15 at the Carver Educational Services Center Auditorium.  We are hoping for 5-10 people from Twinbrook to attend this meeting.

Some background: The current CIP includes plans for a substantial addition to Julius West Middle School to open in August 2016 and for a  new elementary school, Richard Montgomery Elementary School #5,  at the Hungerford Park/CRC site on West Edmonston to open in August 2017.  Last year the Board of Ed approved RMES#5 to open in August 2015, but the County Council delayed the project by 2 years.  It was the ONLY Board of Ed-approved new elementary school project that was delayed by the County. Check out this article for more info: http://www.gazette.net/article/20111116/NEWS/711169444/1094/richard-montgomery-stakeholders-push-for-new-elementary-school&template=gazette .

Why attend this meeting? This directly affects us: the new elementary school would alleviate overcrowding in all of the RM cluster schools, including Twinbrook and our annoying portable classrooms. Three of four of our cluster’s elementary schools are at more than 120% of capacity.  This population wave will be hitting Julius West, and we’re still growing.  We are going to ask the BOE for help in getting both the new elementary school and the JW addition ASAP — and that includes moving RMES #5 back to 2015. Seeing involved families from all of the cluster schools, including Twinbrook, may help sway BOE opinion.

Feel free to wear school shirts or colors. You could also bring small (no larger than 11x 17) signs — colorful signs are great. Have the signs read RMES#5 in ’15  or RMES #5 or something else that supports the message that we need more school capacity.  Bring your kids — it’s a great lesson in democracy! Perhaps their signs could say — “A place for my band” or “No more art on a cart” or “I want my playground back” or something else that would share their perspective on their overcrowded situation. The RM Cluster is in the first group of clusters to testify – probably in the 7:15 to 8:00 pm timeframe.

The Carver Auditorium is just inside the North entrance to the building. This is the side that faces Hungerford Drive/Rt 355 and there is ample parking in the big lot out front.  The North Entrance is on the right side of the building (with your back to Rt 355.) Try to arrive before the 7pm start of the hearing to ensure a seat.

Want to know more about future BOE meetings and agendas? Check here: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/boe/meetings/#calendar . You can also see webcasts of meetings here: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/boe/meetings/live.aspx.

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