Montgomery County Public Schools welcomes more than 163,500 students today into its 206 schools for the start of the 2018-2019 school year — the largest enrollment in the district’s history.
MCPS is also welcoming nearly 900 new teachers, more than 250 new supporting services professionals and 25 new administrators this school year.
“The start of a new school year is an exciting time and we are thrilled to have students and staff back in schools,” said Superintendent Jack Smith. “Teachers, staff and administrators are ready to get to work and we are focused on expanding access and opportunities for all students to help them achieve at their highest potential.”
“We are pleased to welcome back our students, staff and families back for another wonderful year of learning and achievement,” said Board of Education president Michael Durso. “We are committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunities and resources needed to meet their full potential and to thrive in and out of the classroom. We wish everyone a successful school year.”
MCPS has made investments in key areas for the new school year that will allow the district to continue expanded access to and increase instructional time in a wide variety programs that will enhance learning for all students. These critical areas include:
Expanded Language and Literacy Enrichment Opportunities
In addition to traditional language immersion programs, MCPS now has two new two-way local school immersion programs. The district has also increased access to elementary and middle school enrichment with additional seats and universal screenings, and more local school enrichment to ensure all students are considered for the program.
Early Exposure to Learning
MCPS has increased Prekindergarten seats with more full-day learning experiences across the county; Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM) opportunities embedded in the elementary core curriculum; and expanded art initiatives in schools with a high number of students impacted by poverty.
Increasing Access to Rigorous Coursework and Assessments
The district has expanded access to Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, with a focus on increasing participation by typically underrepresented student groups. In addition, MCPS covers the cost for students to take an assessment (SAT, ACT or Career Certificates) to support post-high school plans.
A Focus on Career Readiness
As part of its increased focused on career readiness, MCPS has enhanced and expanded its career-ready offerings. Programs range from information technology and engineering to aviation, finance and teaching. Some programs offer a two-year associate degree by the time students graduate from high school, at no cost or at a reduced cost. MCPS is also expanding the Career Readiness Education Academy (CREA) to serve students who are unlikely to meet all graduation requirements prior to turning 21 and to students with limited or interrupted formal educations. In addition to new programs, MCPS has opened a new Thomas Edison High School of Technology building, a career readiness hub for county students.
New Elementary School in Rockville
To accommodate growth, the new Bayard Rustin Elementary School opens its doors to 600 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The Rockville school, led by Principal Rachel DuBois, is more than 97,000 square feet. Additionally, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, North Bethesda Middle School, and Kensington Parkwood and Lucy V. Barnsley elementary schools were expanded to address increased enrollment.
Top: MCPS school buses wait for the light at the corner of Father Hurley Boulevard and Wisteria Drive at about 7:15 am on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Next: MCPS school bus on Ridge Road in Germantown on Tuesday morning. First Day of School 2018.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.