The EBCA Education Committee

The EBCA Education Committee is committed to supporting the education needs of our community and ensuring that East Bethesda citizens have a voice in the public schools that our children attend. The Education Committee was formed in January 1998.  For more information on the Committee, please contact Monica Hayes Education Committee chairperson at [email protected]

East Bethesda Schools
Updated May 20, 2016

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) continues to plan for expanded capacity to accommodate our neighborhood students as a part of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase (B-CC) cluster of schools.


HIGH SCHOOL:


The new addition project will increase the capacity of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School to accommodate projected student enrollment. The current student enrollment is 1,989 students and is projected to be 2,367 students by the 2020-2021 school year. The capacity of the current building is 1683 students so there are 8 relocatable classrooms on the 16.4 acre school site -- the smallest high school site in the county. To meet the program needs of the school, 34 classrooms and support spaces will be added.  
New Features Will Include:
  •  34 Teaching stations
  •  71 Additional on-site parking spaces
  •  Raised tennis court structure
  •  Two-story wing along the north face of the existing building
  •  Covered, open air plaza overlooking the stadium
  •  Dance room opening to a small atrium lobby with views of the stadium below
 
  •  Four-story wing to the west of the existing gymnasium
  •  Two new stair towers
  •  Elevator to all four floor levels and the elevated tennis deck
  •  Wireless network access and interactive whiteboard systems in new classrooms
 
The construction contract will be awarded in July 2016 and the project is slated for completion in August 2018.

Click here for more information on the B-CC addition from the MCPS Construction website including a Flyover rendering, design documents, traffic study and feasibility study meeting notes.


MIDDLE SCHOOL:


East Bethesda students are currently assigned to Westland Middle School in the B-CC cluster of schools. Due to enrollment increases at Westland, MCPS is building a second middle school for the B-CC cluster which will open in August 2017. In January 2016, the Board of Education (BOE) authorized a boundary study to review options for the service area of the new Middle School #2, and associated changes to Westland.  The Boundary Advisory Committee will complete their evaluation of the ten boundary options developed by MCPS staff using committee developed criteria in June.  


On April 14th, MCPS presented 4 additional options for service areas for the two B-CC Cluster Middle Schools.  The first 6 options were previously discussed and remain unchanged.


One of the new options, Option 8, assigns East Bethesda to the new MS#2 while assigning the rest of the Bethesda Elementary Community to Westland Middle school,  returning East Bethesda to a split articulation school pattern.


EBCA conducted two surveys to gather input from East Bethesda residents on their preferred options.  Overall 108 responses were received for the two surveys.  The clear preference of survey-takers is to stay at Westland, with Option 1 the most preferred.  Option 8, which sends East Bethesda to the new Middle School #2 and also splits our students from the rest of the Bethesda Elementary students who remain at Westland, was the least preferred option.  Overall East Bethesda survey-takers ranked options that had split articulation low and ranked options 3 and 4, which had both split articulation and sent East Bethesda to the new Middle School #2 very low - just above Option #8.  EBCA has shared the results with committee members. 
 
The Superintendent’s recommended option will be released in October 2016. The BOE will conduct a work session, hold public hearings and take action in November. The boundary changes will be effective August 2017 with the opening of the new school.


Click here for more information on Bethesda-Chevy Chase Cluster Middle School Boundary Study including meeting schedules and minutes, evaluation criteria, and options under consideration.


Click here for more information on the B-CC MS#2 building from the MCPS Construction website including a Flyover rendering, design documents and traffic study.


EBCA encourages residents to continue to provide their views on the middle school options to committee representatives, their schools and MCPS
 

East Bethesda Schools Update March 2014

Projects to increase the capacity of Bethesda-Chevy Chase (B-CC) Cluster schools continue.  The addition at B-CC High School to increase capacity of the school from 1665 to 2400 students is scheduled to open August 2017.  The process to select the design for the addition, school parking improvements, and possible field upgrades is expected to begin in May 2014 following County Council approval of the full budget for the project. Click here for information from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on the B-CC HS addition.  The new B-CC Middle School (MS) #2 will also open in August 2017.  The community involvement process to inform the selection of elementary schools to feed into B-CC MS #2 will occur in spring 2016. The superintendent’s recommendation on B-CC MS #2 boundaries will be released in fall 2016, and Board of Education review, public hearing, and action will occur in November 2016.  Click here for information from MCPS on B-CC MS #2 construction.

New East Bethesda Elementary boundaries complete Phase-in in August 2014 with all K-5 grade students assigned to Bethesda Elementary School (ES).  Parents interested in enrolling their Kindergarten students in Bethesda ES next fall should contact the school now for information and orientation schedules. The addition at Bethesda ES will open in August 2015. Click here for the Bethesda E.S website.

Click here for the complete B-CC Cluster Requested FY 2015 Capital Budget and FY 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program.

East Bethesda Elementary Boundaries



The Board of Education (BOE) unanimously voted on November 17th to reassign the East Bethesda community from Rosemary Hills Elementary School to Bethesda Elementary School for Grades K?2, with continuance at Bethesda Elementary school through Grade 5. Reassignments from Rosemary Hills Elementary School to Bethesda Elementary School begins in the 2013-2014 school year with Grades K?1, and ends in the 2014-2015 school year with Grades K?2.  The BOE also approved an eight-classroom addition for Bethesda Elementary. Click here for the BOE Elementary  resolution.

 

New elementary school boundaries begin phase-in next school year.  East Bethesda students in  Grades K?1 are reassigned from Rosemary Hills Elementary School  to Bethesda Elementary School (BE)  in the 2013-2014 school year, and Grades K?2 are reassigned  in the 2014-2015 school year ending the pairing of the two schools.   Parents interested in enrolling their Grade 2 student in BE next fall should follow the Change of School Assignment (COSA) process before 2 April 2013. Clink here for the MCPS transfer page..BE kindergarten orientation is scheduled for April 26th and parents should contact BE registrar Mrs. Jordan for more information.  Click here for the BE school website. MCPS plans to complete BE's eight-classroom addition in time for the 2015-2016 school year.


EBCA has requested MCPS allow liberal transfer options as boundaries are implemented.

Click here for a summary of MCPS Elementary Schools Presentation at the 15 February EBCA meeting including a description of boundary change implementation.

Click here for a graphic from MCPS with East Elementary Bethesda Grade Level Assignments, by Year.

Click here for a graphic decision aide on East Bethesda articulation with both an elementary and middle school boundary changes to see the articulation path for their child(ren). 

Click here and see the end of the memo from Dr. Starr on Phase out of RHPS Option for Grade 2 Students .  At the end of the memo, there is the description of the timing of the phase-out of the current flexible transfer for Grade 2 students at Rosemary Hills ES.  East Bethesda students that exercise the flexible option to attend CCES and NCC will be provided with transportation through completion of elementary school.

Clink here for the MCPS transfer page. with information transfer policies and transfer request forms.

 Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Addition

 

Did you know Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School has hundreds more students than its official capacity of 1,600 and the student population is expected to continue to increase?  Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has initiated the process to design and build an addition to expand the schools? capacity to 2400 students.  MCPS plans to complete the high school addition, and the new cluster middle school in Rock Creek Hills, in time for the 2017-2018 school year. Click here for more information from MCPS.

New Middle School

On May 24, the County Council adopted a FY 2013-2018 Capital budget that includes funding for Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School #2.  Members did not vote to accept the M-NCPPC recommendation, and act to force the Board of Education (BOE) to place the middle school on the Lynnbrook site.  Next step is for County Executive Leggett to concur with the BOE's decision to reclaim the Rock Creek Hills site and then M-NCPPC will transfer it to BOE ownership. 

M-NCPPC urges BOE to use Lynnbrook site for the new B-CC middle school.

Click here for the Bethesda Patch Article summarizing the M-NCPPC meeting. 

 Montgomery County school board votes Rock Creek Hills for new B-CC middle school.  Read the story on the Gazette.Net.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase Middle School #2

The Board of Education approved a site for a new middle school in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase cluster, which is expected to open in August 2017. The Board approved the superintendent’s recommendation that the school be built at Rock Creek Hills Local Park. The Rock Creek Hills site was the overwhelming recommendation of the Site Selection Advisory Committee that reviewed 38 possible locations for the new middle school. The Rock Creek Hills property was previously owned by the Board of Education and was the location of Kensington Junior High School, which closed in 1979. The Board transferred the land to the county with the provision that it could be reclaimed if the land was ever needed for a school. The property was subsequently transferred to the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) in 1990 for use as a park. Given the Board’s approval, the project will move into the design phase. Read the memo to the Board and Dr. Starr’s site selection recommendation.  Click here for a link to t
 
The Board of Education (BOE) indicated at the meeting that the Lynnbrook site was not a suitable site for a Middle School, which is consistent with the EBCA position,  and further, stated that it is likely that the Lynnbrook site will be needed for an elementary school, collocated with the Lynnbrook Park, for the B-CC Cluster in the future.
Funding to support B-CC MS#2, and additions at B-CC HS, Bethesda ES, Rosemary Hills ES and North Chevy Chase ES are included in the BOE's FY 2013–2018 CIP and the FY 2013 Capital Budget. 

Background:

April 10, 2012: M-NCPPC Planning Board Commissioners Voted 4 to 1, that while recognizing the right of MCPS to reclaim the Rock Creek Hills Park, to Recommend MCPS take a harder look at the former Lynnbrook Elementary School site and the adjacent Lynnbrook Local Park (Lynnbrook site) as the site to construct the new BCC Middle School #2. The Planning Board’s recommendation, which is not binding, is set to be forwarded to the Board of Education.

At the February 15 EBCA General meeting, EBCA passed a motion stating Lynnbrook is not an appropriate site for the new middle school because it does not meet MCPS Middle School Site Criteria.  The MCPS Site Selection Advisory Committee (SSAC) came to that same conclusion at their February 8th meeting, primarily due to the small buildable area on the site (8.5 acres). On March 30th  MCPS Superintendent Starr concurred with SSAC's rationale for eliminating the Lynnbrook site and recommended Rock Creek Hills Local Park as the best site for a new middle school.  

EBCA's position is that the site composed of Lynnbrook Park and the former Lynnbrook Elementary School (Lynnbrook Site) is not an appropriate site for the new middle school.

Click here for EBCA comments to the Site Selection Report.   

March 30th  Superintendent Starr recommended Rock Creek Hills Local Park as the best site for a new middle school. Click here for a copy of the recommendation.

 April 9th  Mandatory Referral at Planning Board 
      Click here for the meeting agenda and materials
      Click here for the Staff recommendation: including a description of Park staff's "test fit" of the minimum MS program of requirements to the Lynnbrook site (i.e. their view on how a middle school would fit on the Lynnbrook site). 
       Click here for the Planning Commission letter to the BOE recommending the Lynnbrook site.. 
 
Click here to watch the 9 April Planning meeting online (it is about four hours long).
 
Click here for the Bethesda Patch Article summarizing the Planning meeting.

For more information on the middle school site selection process and how to comment on the Report click here for the MCPS Planning website.  Click here for the BOE Middle School resolution.
Want to Advocate on East Bethesda Schools?
Your advocacy can make a real difference in the decisions our elected officials make concerning our schools. A letter that makes real your personal situation is often most effective,
 
 
The link below is to Montgomery College's Office of Government Relations web site. It includes contact information for state legislators. Advocate to state legislators for funding for MCPS capital projects. In addition, the " Advocacy Tips" webpage is a great resource with tips for writing letters and making phone calls to elected officials.
Click here for Click here for  Montgomery College Advocacy Resource:

 

EBCA Schools - Information