BoE meets for a facilities and boundaries hearing


Claire Yu

Department of Facilities Management Seth Adams delivers a statement about new county facility policies.

On the evening of Nov. 4, the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) met for the second facilities and boundaries hearing this year. Speakers testified both in-person and online, and the event was streamed through MCPS TV on YouTube.

Multiple speakers from Wootton High School representing the student body testified about the unhealthy effects of their school facilities on their learning environment. “Students can experience difficulty concentrating, finding the right words, and even experience memory loss, all of which impede on a child’s right to a safe and healthy education, and one in which they have no choice but to pursue,” Wootton junior Carli Katz said. Looking forward, the county plans to invest more funds into improving the school’s exterior infrastructure.

The county Department of Facilities and Management also went over a few updates, such as resolving a toilet issue at Twinbrook Elementary School mentioned at the previous meeting. Another initiative covered was the project of drawing boundaries for a new MCPS high school in the Crown area of Gaithersburg, scheduled to open in 2026, which will broadly impact clusters in the mid-county region including Richard Montgomery. MCPS officials will be starting meetings for preliminary plans on these topics in the near future as well.

Other representatives of clusters at Einstein High School, Northwood High School, and more came out to advocate for the specific needs of their schools regarding design. Some issues brought up by these speakers were security and safety planning, indoor pollution, and support for outdoor lunches in the winter, all with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Additionally, the BOE has approved a project for expansion of Northwood High School by increasing capacity through upgrades to building systems, which is scheduled to be completed by September 2025. However, one concern is engaging the community during this enlargement of the school population. “We talked with the [Northwood] principal today about really developing a robust communication plan with all community members at the elementary school level, middle school level,” Director of the Department of Facilities and Management Seth Adams said. 

The BOE will be holding its next hearing on Monday, Nov. 8, to continue talks on facilities and boundaries. “Through these conversations, we hear a lot of things we can go back, follow up on, think about, and consider,” Monifa McKnight, MCPS Interim Superintendent said. “And so I just wanted to thank [everyone] for being here and being a part of the discussion.”