The following were among actions taken at the Sept. 12 meeting of the Montgomery County Board of Education. For more information, call 279-3617.
NEW MATH AND SCIENCE REQUIREMENTS -- The school board discussed increasing math and science requirements for high school students, perhaps requiring courses such as algebra and biology for graduation.
Board member Blair Ewing's proposal to make the high school curriculum more rigorous comes as a state task force is studying whether to require more academic work from students before they graduate. That study is due to be issued later this year and the school board is expected to wait until it is released before deciding on any new requirements.
High school students are now required to take three years of math and two years of science, but the school system does not specify which courses must be taken. Ewing wants to require students to take courses that include algebra, symbolic logic, statistics and probability, biology and physics.
STUDENT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER -- The school board passed a resolution calling for full voting rights for the panel's student member, promising to work at the state level to enact such a law.
The resolution was introduced by student member David Chang, elected earlier this year by the county's seventh- through 12th-graders. Chang argued that the student member should have equal voting power with the other seven members of the board. Student members serve one-year terms.
The Montgomery school board is one of the few in the state that permit student members even a limited vote. Legislation that passed the General Assembly last year allows Montgomery's student member to vote on all issues except the budget, personnel matters, union contracts, school openings, closings and boundary changes. They vote on many issues that directly affect students such as policies on curricular and extra-curricular activities.
Chang's resolution, approved in a 6-to-2 vote, asks the school system to work with the county's delegation to the General Assembly to eliminate those exceptions.
In addition to Chang, board President Robert Shoenberg and members Ewing, James Cronin, Bruce Goldensohn and Catherine Hobbs voted for the resolution; board members Sharon DiFonzo and Marilyn Praisner voted against it. DiFonzo and Praisner said student members should not receive full voting rights because they are not elected by the county's registered voters, as are the other members.
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES -- The board discussed a proposal to require students who participate in extracurricular activities, including sports, to maintain a 2.0 or C grade average and not fail more than one course per quarter.
Currently, there is no minimum grade point requirement for participating in extracurricular activities, but students failing more than two courses per quarter are prohibited from taking part in extracurricular activities.
When a student is declared ineligible because of grades, that status extends from the time the report card is issued until the student receives a report card that satisfies the requirements.
The board is scheduled to vote on the new requirements Nov. 13.