Pearl Weiss, an educator with the Washington and Montgomery County public schools systems who helped develop a team teaching model for elementary schools and a special-needs curriculum for high-risk students in high school, died Dec. 23 at a senior care community in St. Louis Park, Minn. She was 97.

She died of natural causes, according to the death certificate.

Mrs. Weiss retired in 1971 after having served as a school counselor at Parkland Junior High School in Rockville.

Pearl Schwarzer was born in New York City, where she graduated from Hunter College in 1936. She settled in the Washington area in 1939 and taught at Stanton Elementary School in the District before working for the Montgomery school system in 1955.

She helped develop a team teaching model at Arcola Elementary School in Wheaton on a federal grant in the 1960s. Later, at Northwood High School in Silver Spring, she helped devise a work-orientation curriculum for at-risk students. In this program, students spent half a day in school and half a day in the workplace outside school.

In 1967, Mrs. Weiss received a master’s degree in counseling at George Washington University.

With her husband, Gilbert Weiss, Mrs. Weiss was a founding member of Temple Sinai in Washington. He died in 1998 after 65 years of marriage.

A former resident of Silver Spring, Mrs. Weiss lived in Minnesota for the last seven years of her life.

Survivors include two daughters, Wendy Weiss Ackerman of St. Louis Park and Daniella Ashkenazy of Kfar Warburg, Israel; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes