School Advocacy

Please show your support at our upcoming forums!

A huge area of concern for families within our Walter Johnson school cluster is the increase in residential development in the area and its future impact on our schools.  This includes Rock Spring, Grosvenor Heights, Toll Brothers WMAL radio tower site, Pike and Rose, and White Flint, in addition to the redevelopment trend of older homes in our area.  Take for example Ashburton Elementary school which has grown from 650 students in 2007 to over 900 this year representing a 57% increase.  The schools are bursting at the seams, with portables being added to handle the volume, and school additions in the works for many of the schools including a possible addition at Walter Johnson with the potential to reach its capacity closer to 3200 in the year 2020.

The Walter Johnson Cluster Roundtable Discussion group is in the process of considering facility options to address near-term and long-term enrollment increase in the Walter Johnson cluster.  NBMS, along with other schools in our cluster, has representatives that are participating in this roundtable.  Information on this roundtable, including background materials and a schedule of meetings, is available here at http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd/departments/planning/roundtable.aspx.  Please come and show your support for any of these upcoming meetings both at the above link.  All meetings are open to the public, and there will be time at the end of each meeting for questions from the public.


CLUSTER UPDATE 7/7/17:

On Tuesday February 7, 2017, the WJ Cluster testified in front of the County Council asking the County Council to fully fund the 2018 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY 2017-2022 Capital Improvement Plan, including Supplement B, the Recommendation for the WJ Cluster.  The testimony addressed funding for facilities approved by the MCPS Board of Education ("BOE") within.  As a reminder, the BOE voted last November to move forward with various solutions in order to manage the overcrowding within the WJ cluster.  The BOE approved additions or rev/exes for Ashburton Elementary School, Kensington Parkwood Elementary School, Luxmanor Elementary School, North Bethesda Middle School, and Tilden Middle School. The BOE supported school reassignments within the cluster including possibly reassigning Farmland Elementary School children to Luxmanor Elementary School, and a growth management study to help identify a site for a potential 7th elementary school.  In addition, a decision to reopen the Woodward facility on Old Georgetown Road as a high school is in process to fully relieve overcrowding at Walter Johnson High School, and help reduce overcrowding at other county schools.  Finally, the BOE approved funds for the Woodward High School feasibility study.  The WJ Cluster is grateful to Dr. Smith and to the BOE because we believe they heard us when we gave them our opinion last year on overcrowding solutions.  The WJ Cluster asked members of the County Council to do the same as none of these actions can be accomplished without the full funding for these solutions that our communities desperately need.  Finally, our cluster also asked for support to help find ways to obtain reservations of land within ongoing development plans.  MCPS and Planning Department figures show that we will need 2 elementary schools and a future middle school within the cluster during the life of these plans.  We asked that the Council lend their voices to those within the WJ cluster as we seek reservations, dedications, and some supplemental appropriations for school sites within the Cluster.  You can also follow the MCC_PTA on Twitter.   

See bottom for more documents.


Upcoming Meetings

Several times a year, our cluster of PTAs asks parents and students to attend major hearings before the County Council or Board of Education. These hearings involve essential resources for our schools, our teachers, and ultimately our children. We've got an important hearing coming up, and we need you or your students to attend:

The County Council hearing on Tuesday Sept 19, at 7:30 PM 
100 Maryland Ave, Rockville

Here's what's at stake: Millions of dollars' worth of school land.

Land for an additional middle school - so our middle schools don't exceed 1200 students. 
Land for an additional elementary school - so our elementary schools don't exceed 750 students.
Needed school fields

The hearing is about the White Flint 2 plan - 1 of 3 development plans from which the Walter Johnson cluster could obtain land from schools. So far, the Planning Board has not directly recommended that land be reserved in the plans for a school, and we are asking the County Council to fix that.  This is likely our best chance to avoid oversized, overcrowded schools. 

Please come - and stand with us as we cheer on speakers who support our cluster's position.

Wear something green, and bring friends, neighbors, the parents on your kid's soccer team, etc. Bring or send your kids - these meetings have so much more meaning to the Council when they see the students the added schools will serve. Every person in the room matters.

Together we can do this. Please email me at matthewjoseph987@gmail.com if you can attend:  Even if you can only come for an hour. Even if you're not totally sure you can make it. The cluster will make contact lists so that we can let you know about any late-breaking news. Thank you very much.  

Gratefully, 

Matthew Joseph
North Bethesda Cluster Rep
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Web Admin,
Sep 7, 2016, 9:22 AM