The following were among actions taken at the Dec. 8 meeting of the Montgomery County Board of Education. For more information, call 279-3617.
UPCOUNTY SCHOOL -- In an attempt to compromise on a controversial issue, schools superintendent Harry Pitt tentatively endorsed the creation of an intensive math-science curriculum in the upcounty area.
But he also said the program should not begin for at least five years and should be small enough not to undermine a similar program in Silver Spring.
Pitt's recommendation to the school board followed pleas by parents in the upcounty area, who say the rapidly-growing region deserves such a program. But parents and staff at predominantly minority Blair High School in Silver Spring -- a magnet school that houses a special math-science program to attract white students -- said that a competing magnet program in the upcounty area would harm Blair's program, which is a county effort to desegregate schools.
Pitt said his decision to recommend a five-year delay also was influenced by a desire to strengthen existing high school honors programs and to establish two new upcounty high schools -- Quince Orchard and Watkins Mill -- before undertaking the new program. Both schools are scheduled to open next fall.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS -- The board elected Sharon DiFonzo as president, replacing Marilyn Praisner. DiFonzo, of Rockville, is in the final year of her first four-year term. She was vice president this year.
James E. Cronin, in his second term on the board, was elected vice president. Cronin board has served twice before as president.
This week, board member Margaret Slye announced that she would not seek election to a second four-year term. Slye said illness has prevented her from attending meetings this month.
And board member Blair Ewing and former board member Jeremiah Floyd both have announced their decisions to run for board positions. Ewing now represents the Fourth District, which includes parts of Wheaton, Silver Spring and Takoma Park.
Floyd, who is from Bethesda, was appointed to the board in 1984 to serve out the final two years of Odessa Shannon's term. Shannon left the board to work for then-County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist. Floyd lost his seat in the 1986 election to Bruce Goldensohn, the board's only upcounty member. He has not decided whether he will run at-large or represent a district.