Action Plan

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Action Plan

Montgomery County Public Schools has developed a three-year action plan in response to a 2017 external review, Preparing All Students for Economic and Career Success, conducted by the Education Strategy Group. The plan was developed by a group of stakeholders that included parents, current and former students, staff, and business, community, and higher education leaders.

Focus Area 1: Vision

Key Actions

Establish a new vision for career readiness that complements MCPS college-ready goals

Year

Action Steps


Spring 2018

Develop guiding principles that elaborate on the MCPS vision and mission statements as it pertains to career readiness and that are inclusive of all students.

Spring 2018

Consult postsecondary partners to garner their commitment to building alignment between the career readiness guiding principles of K-12 and higher education in Montgomery County.

Spring 2018

Share the draft guiding principles with key stakeholders to socialize the ideas as well as gather input and feedback.

Spring 2018

Revise and/or supplement the newly-released MCPS strategic plan to ensure that ideas from the career readiness guiding principles are meaningfully incorporated.

Redefine and rebrand CTE as offering rigorous academic coursework integrated with 21st century technical instruction and real-world work experiences.

Year

Action Steps

2018-2019

Begin to integrate guiding principles into appropriate MCPS documents and materials including curricular and communication and community engagement materials in alignment with the Stakeholder Understanding action plan.

2018-2019

See Stakeholder Understanding plan for additional details.

Design and provide professional development on the regional labor market and the related high-value career opportunities to teachers, counselors, and administrators to help them understand the range of meaningful professional roles available after high school.

Year

Action Steps

2018-2019

Develop professional learning opportunities aligned with the new guiding principles for career readiness for Administrators, Counselors, College and Career Information Counselors (CCICs).

2019-2020

Continue implementation of professional learning opportunities.

Establish metrics for career readiness success to undergird the importance of the work, including program of study completion in high-skill, high-demand fields; work-based learning participation; dual credit rates; and attainment of industry-recognized credentials with labor market value.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

 Establish a stakeholder committee to develop metric recommendations based on high-skill and high-demand industries.

Continuing into 2018-2019

 Identify metric data which will be loaded into Performance Matters/Unify for the purpose of capturing, monitoring, and reporting data at the school-based and central office levels.


Focus Area 2: Employer Engagement

Key Actions

Align MCPS career prep programs with the demands of the labor market in high-skill, high-demand industries and occupations.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

Create and post the Supervisor of Strategic Industry Partnerships job description in March, using employer partnerships including the Chamber to spread the word to the employer community.

Spring 2018

Create a charge for the Superintendent’s Advisory Council.

Spring 2018

Identify and recruit members of the Council.

Spring 2018

Using the charge of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council as a starting point, determine the roles of MC, USG, County Government (workforce development), and MCCB (president/representative) and unpack how all will work together.

2018-2019

Convene Superintendent’s Advisory Council

Scale internships that are aligned with high-skill, high-demand labor market needs so that all students have an opportunity to connect classroom learning with the world of work.

Year

Action Steps

2018-2019

Define what constitutes a quality work-based learning experience, with consideration to the full continuum from awareness, exploration, and preparation/training/jobs.

2018-2019

Clarify employer requirements and expectations for work-based experiences through major companies, small businesses, and industry associations.

2018-2019

Identify pilot programs/schools to test the program using the “gold standard” of work-based learning experiences.

2018-2019

Develop and implement a training plan and additional resources for students, staff, and business.

2018-2019

Establish metrics for levels of proficiency as well as measuring the quality of the work-based experiences.

2018-2019

Develop targets/timeline for multi-year rollout plan of work-based learning opportunities following the pilot.

2019-2020

Scale internships which are align to the new vision.

2019-2020

Develop a summer externship program for MCPS staff (teachers, counselors, etc.) which provides them with opportunities to have real-world experiences to leverage in their school settings with students.

2019-2020

Consider a regional approach to employer engagement.

Regularly convene leading employers of the county’s key industriesthrough a specialized Advisory Council led by the Superintendent to identify programmatic priorities for the district and set direction for the work of the current intermediary organizations.

Year

Action Steps

2018-2019

Complete analysis of the labor market.

2018-2019

Develop a long-term plan for a recurring process to regularly collect and analyze labor market data to identify high-skill, high-demand industries and occupations and the skills and competencies (included associated industry-recognized credentials) that are needed in each.

2018-2019

Develop and execute strategies to vet the market analysis and high-value credential list with the Advisory Council - and later the MCCB - to make recommendation on pathways to prioritize and scale as well as retire.

Restructure and redefine the role of the Montgomery County Collaboration Board (MCCB) so it can more effectively ensure that new and existing career preparation programs are targeted in high-skill, high-demand sectors and are achieving results.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

Following the development of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council charge, create a new charge for Montgomery County Collaboration Board (MCCB) in the context of building and executing the strategy and direction set by the Advisory Council, with a focus on curriculum alignment, development of new programs, phasing out outdated programs, and ensuring program articulation with postsecondary.

Spring 2018

Determine & clarify the roles of MC and USG

Spring 2018

Identify and recruit members for the MCCB.

2018-2019

Convene the reconstituted MCCB.


Focus Area 3: Program Quality and Rigor

Key Actions

Phase out Programs of Study that do not lead to opportunities in high-wage, high skill, high-demand fields.

Year

Action Steps

 
Data Collection
 

2018-2019

Obtain industry data associated with existing career paths to demonstrate a level of demand for jobs in that industry. Locate additional industry data that also shows how ready the current workforce and/or student pool is prepared for the careers in those pathways.

2018-2019

Collect program qualitative data from a broad cross-section of stakeholder groups to determine satisfaction with current progra

2018-2019

Review and audit CTE data. Identify what performance data currently exists.

2018-2019

Collect 2 and 4-year data from students from MCPS from post-secondary education partners.

2018-2019

Collect the research / best practice recommendations for career pathway implementation and examples of comparable programs that are effective. Research best practices suggested in the ESG report, along with scientific journals focused on the implementation of career readiness programs. This may involve interviewing professionals of other districts and/or education researchers.

 
Data Utilization and Decision Making
 

2018-2019

Develop a rubric to evaluate programs based on research. The rubric should focus on common themes identified from the research.

2018-2019

Using the rubric and a two-phase decision- making model, identify programs to phase out or redesign:

  • Phase: I: Larger advisory group uses the rubric developed to make recommendations
  • Phase II: Smaller group to make decisions, based on recommendations of the advisory group
 

2018-2019

Conduct an impact assessment for programs to be phased out to understand the impact on all members of the school community and what supports are needed to address those impacts. Develop a transition plan for phasing programs out that includes communications with all impacted stakeholders.

Redesign Programs of Study so that they offer honors and college-level course-taking opportunities, integrate rigorous and relevant work-based learning experiences, and enable students to earn high-value credentials, where available and appropriate.

Year

Action Steps

2018-2020

Identify agreed upon criteria for all programs that are essential to the implementation of rigorous programs, considering best practices in PLTW Certification requirements and visits. Map all career pathways to available 4-year and 2-year degrees, and high-value industry certifications, including transferable 21st -century skills. Identify the high-value credentials and courses included in each program of study, so that each program of study is connected to a clear career pathway.

2018-2020

Review curriculum to identify areas of improvement, including scaffolding, differentiation, cultural proficiency, 21st Century skills, critical thinking, and problem-based learning and opportunities. Opportunities for industry-aligned work-based learning experiences, industry-recognized credentials, and college credit should be incorporated where applicable. Staff will invite industry and academia partners to participate in the curriculum review.

2018-2020

Identify funding opportunities for curriculum development through Perkins.

2018-2020

Curriculum development based on recommendations from above process.

2018-2020

Utilize stakeholder input to strategically determine programs locations, considering potential competition for the student population.

Design and execute a systematic approach to the delivery of career programming across schools ensuring that every student has access to a high-quality program of study of his/her choice.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

Field test regional choice models.

2018-2020

Provide comprehensive professional development on redesigned curriculum and program implementation. Share the systematic model utilized to ensure programs are high-quality and implemented with fidelity. Additional topics for the session will include cultural proficiency and scaffolding instruction to meet the needs of all students.

2020-2021

Conduct program monitoring visits to safeguard program implementation. Identify opportunities to provide schools and staff with support.

Expand and strengthen career advisement system, beginning in middle school, to offer more career awareness, exposure, and preparation activities to all students.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

Review and finalize Finance Park Grade 7 curriculum and summative career exposure experience at Thomas Edison High School.

2018-2019

Develop options for systematic implementation of Naviance in connection with Grade 7 Financial Literacy curriculum.

2018-2019

Design and delivery comprehensive a professional development plan for counselors, teachers, and administrators on the regional labor market and high-value career opportunities, coupled with new vision (see Vision).

2018-2020

Expand career-related exposures and outside of school experiences for middle school students (e.g. KID Museum, Spark 101).

2018-2020

Leverage accountability and evaluation systems to create new expectations for school counselors.

2020-2021

Explore the development of a “Teacher as Advisor” system, so that career advisement is not placed solely on school counselors.

Increase teacher capacity by scaling opportunities for teachers to earn industry-recognized credentials and participate in externships.

Year

Action Steps

2020-2021

Leverage industry partnerships to create paid summer externships for CTE teachers and “core academic” teachers, and counselors.

2020-2021

Aggressively recruit and select teachers for summer externships

2020-2021

Launch a 6-week paid externship experiences for teachers in high-value, high- demand programs.

Reconfigure the district’s accountability system so that it values program of study completion and attainment of college credit and stackable credentials.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

Form stakeholder group to develop recommended metrics (aligned with the metrics for career readiness success developed by the vision group) and vet metrics with stakeholder groups, superintendent, and the Board.

Spring 2018

Partner with OCTO and OSA to develop systematic data collection systems, integrations (i.e. Performance Matters/Unify), and reporting that is aligned to with metrics, monitoring, and reporting.

2018-2019

Begin to integrate some level of career readiness measures (completer and high value certifications) in public reporting, strategic plan, and Evidence of Learning.

2018-2019

Explore opportunities to use Naviance for monitoring and career advisement.


Focus Area 4: Thomas Edison HS of Technology

Key Actions

Create a CTE Early College High School that, like other Early College High Schools, would enable students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and either an associate degree or up to two years of credit toward a bachelor’s degree.
Design a Wall-to-Wall Career Academy that would be divided into a number of high-skill, high-demand “academies”; each student would “major” in an academy and receive rigorous academic and technical instruction culminating in college-credit and a postsecondary industry-recognized credential.
Combine Edison and Wheaton, taking advantage of the natural opportunity of side-by-side campuses to offer a rigorous project-based learning experience alongside sophisticated hands-on technical instruction. 
Convert to a technology high school taking care to assess programmatic offerings and their quality carefully to ensure high-quality and develop a strategic plan for implementation with postsecondary and industry partners.

Year

Action Steps

2018-2019

Establish work group to review the ESG report and make recommendations for program modifications.


Focus Area 5: Stakeholder Understanding

Key Actions

Establish a new value proposition for career readiness that educates stakeholders on recent economic changes and the related implications for career opportunities.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

Analyze current research on economic and workforce trends.

Spring 2018

Analyze stakeholder feedback from ESG and MCPS on career readiness and future goals

Spring 2018

Conduct focus groups and interviews of current MCPS students, college students who have gone through career pathways, and graduates who are in careers.

Spring 2018

Create visual identity for career-related programs and opportunities, including name and logo design, and vet with stakeholders

Spring 2018

Provide background information and resources on career readiness programs to and solicit feedback from parents via Parent Community Coordinators. Feedback focused on: future goals for children and how MCPS can best prepare them to achieve the goals

Spring 2018

Define the new value proposition and vet with stakeholders

Implement a branding campaign that brings to life MCPS’s new career readiness vision that integrates and values career preparation alongside college preparation.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

Develop materials for schools to use during CTE Month in February (factoids, graduate profiles)

Spring 2018

Develop a series of written and video Profiles of Success featuring graduates in successful careers who have benefitted from college and career readiness experiences in MCPS. Post on website and share via social media, email to all principals, central office staff, and BOE.

Spring 2018

Provide high school journalism leaders with background information on current trends re: economy, college and career readiness and recap of graduate profiles. Provide their CTA via meeting with Superintendent: raise awareness about changes, career prep programs, and grads who have benefitted from MCPS programs

Spring 2018

Create visual identity for career-related programs and opportunities, including name and logo design, and vet with stakeholders

2018-2019

Develop a toolkit for MCPS staff that includes key talking points that are audience-specific (i.e. counselors, principals,) FAQ, PowerPoint deck, links to videos and other relevant resources

Spring 2018

Develop a body of collateral and resources targeting key external stakeholders, including but not limited to: flyers, FAQs, brochures, posters

2018-2019

Produce an informational video outlining the changing trends in the economy and workforce and the importance of career readiness

Spring 2018

Develop a social media and media relations strategy that includes direct, targeted outreach to the full range of stakeholders that goes beyond the MCPS and school websites and social media

2018-2019

Revamp the website to align it with revised messaging and new visual identity, to include other key resources, and to improve navigation

Make the case for high-quality CTE as a component of career readiness explaining what CTE entails, delineating CTE offerings and their connection to postsecondary options, targeting long-held misconceptions about CTE quality, and advertising recent CTE changes to ensure unassailable quality.

Year

Action Steps

Spring 2018

Create flyer and information letters for new 2018-2019 programs.

Spring 2018

Analyze national research on CTE, including but not limited to work of Advance CTE, to learn about perceptions and misconceptions. Review CTE marketing materials from other school districts.

2018-2020

Integrate national research on CTE in all messaging to internal and external stakeholders

2018-2019

Develop program-specific marketing templates and resources for schools to use to market their programs, beginning with programs in engineering, computer science, and education

Sustain campaign momentum through ongoing communications responsive to the needs of administrators teachers, students and families.

Year

Action Steps

2018-2020

Continue to implement social media and media relations strategy, including regular updates to high school journalism leaders

2018-2020

Develop toolkit of best practices and resources on career activities and identify touch points at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for incorporating activities (e.g., career days, Lunch and Learns, STEM nights, etc.)

2018-2020

Continue to produce and disseminate print and video Profiles of Success featuring MCPS grads in successful careers

2018-2020

Produce quarterly online chats with key employers to discuss career opportunities, relevant skills necessary for careers, and advice for students and families. Create summary of chat for translation into different languages and disseminate through usual MCPS channels

2018-2020

Develop annual comprehensive plan for CTE Month in February

2018-2020

Produce quarterly email update on career-related activities, research, trends, news. Disseminate to schools and key stakeholders.

2018-2020

Provide regularly updated talking points and information to Parent Community Coordinators and other staff that engage with parents and community members

2018-2020

Produce 60-second spots on various MCPS career programs-one per month

2018-2020

Highlight career programs regularly in The Bulletin and Quick Notes

2018-2020

Highlight successful career programs and school career activities in A&S meetings

2018-2020

Convene periodic face-to-face and virtual community meetings with parent and community stakeholders

2018-2020

Develop check-ins with students, families, and staff to whether level of awareness is increasing and to get feedback on improvements to marketing and communications. Include question related to awareness in current MCPS surveys of staff, students, and families