We need your support to help ensure that the IB program remains a strong for generations to come.
Why Get Involved?
The IB program at RM is a strong anchor for the school, helping RM to be recognized as the number 7 high school in MD. The program has dedicated spots for the Richard Montgomery cluster students to enter in 9th grade, and additional cluster students may enter the program in 11th grade.
Unfortunately, the Board is still not hearing from enough people to force MCPS to stop rushing its proposal to downgrade the RMHS IB magnet program. In my opinion, MCPS does not want parent feedback until it is too late for us to change its course.
A ,onth ago, MCPS announced three new regional IB magnet programs, and supposedly balanced regions of the county for them to draw from, and would only commit to Richard Montgomery’s highly touted IB magnet program to remain county-wide during an undefined transition, but neither the regions nor the transition have been actually presented even though MCPS plans to implement these changes this fall.
One of the Board members asked MCPS about the rationale for downgrading RMHS’s magnet IB program from county-wide, and I have yet to see a response. At the Board meeting Monday night, one of the Board members asked about parent input, and MCPS staff claimed to be reaching out “to bring all the schools together” some time in July or August. More telling: When one of the Board members asked whether there was a plan that could be shared or posted online, MCPS staff said their May 30 presentation to the board was “just the beginning” and that they would come back to the board in September to present more information such as a plan for professional staff development. And yet, MCPS is still racing ahead on having students apply to regional magnet programs this fall, with no clear path to maintain the RMHS IB program as is, nor to give the new regional magnets adequate time and resources to become comparable alternatives.
Either MCPS has a plan that it’s unwilling to share, or it does not have a plan. The Board of Education needs to hear from more of us that we want more time, more transparency, and more choice as high school options are altered in the years to come.
You will make a difference if you can take one or all of these steps. Several of us are happy to help any of you contemplating these actions:
- Write to the Board of Education. E-mail communications to Board of Education members should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All Board members will receive the message at that emailbox.
- Provide feedback to MCPS. At our request, MCPS is accepting feedback on the long-range strategic plan for high school programming. Here’s a direct link to the website soliciting feedback. This website also includes links to the MCPS presentation May 30. https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/highschool/high-school-programs-maps/Strategic-pllan-Programs.aspx
- Testify (3 minutes) at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday July 11 (around lunch time) or Monday July 29 (around dinner time).