From our Cluster Coordinators: Just wanted to remind you that 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 this THURSDAY, Nov 15 at the Carver Educational Services Center Auditorium. The RM Cluster is in the first group of clusters to testify, after the politicians so should testify in the 7:15 to 8:00 pm timeframe. We will post a better schedule once it is published on Thursday. In any case, we're relatively early in the evening, which affords us the chance to bring our children! Click on the title to read more.
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. You may recall that 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!
As you know, enrollment in our cluster continues to grow at both the elementary and the middle school levels. Three of four of our elementary schools are at more than 120% of capacity! The wave is hitting Julius West...and we are still growing. We are going to ask the BOE for help in getting both the new elementary school and the JW addition in the soonest time possible -- and that includes moving RMES#5 back to 2015.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT ON THURSDAY NIGHT! Please join us in school shirts or colors with 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.
We are asking for EACH school to commit 5-10 people to attend the hearing. We'll try to sit together in order to make a strong showing to the BOE that our community DOES NOT support the status quo and growing villages of portables.
For those who are not familiar, 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. You can leave after our group of clusters testifies (we're 4th of 5).
Looking forward to seeing you Thursday night.
Cheryl Moss Herman (on behalf of myself, Cheryl Peirce and Jennifer Young)