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BOE Seeks Comment on Transfer Policy

The Montgomery County Board of Education is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the transfer policy. This policy sets the standard under which Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students may be granted a transfer, referred to as a Change of School Assignment (COSA), to attend a school other than their home school or the school assigned to them under their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

The public comment period for this policy will remain open until September 30. The Board of Education’s Policy Committee will then consider all public comments before making a recommendation to the full Board in the fall. Any changes made to the policy will not impact the transfer requests for the 2013-2014 school year.

The Board of Education’s Policy Committee introduced the proposed changes to provide clarity and consistency in the COSA policy. At the June 13 Board of Education meeting, members of the Policy Committee expressed their commitment to neighborhood schools and a COSA process that provides options for students facing a unique hardship. The changes, in part, address issues raised by community members, including concerns about overcrowding in some MCPS schools. Board members said they have a responsibility to look at ways to address overcrowding that do not involve capital projects, but stressed that overcrowding was not the only consideration in suggesting changes to Policy JEE.

Proposed changes include:

– Requiring middle school students on approved COSAs to reapply to attend high school in the same cluster, and meeting the unique hardship standard or one of the exceptions delineated in the policy. This would make the policy consistent with how elementary to middle school transitions are handled.
– Clarifying the definition of sibling and the language about COSAs for siblings whose brother or sister attends a magnet or special program.
– Clarifying language requiring all students who receive an approved COSA to attend the new school for one year before being eligible to participate in athletics.
– Making April 1 the firm deadline for COSA applications with limited exceptions.

Copies of the draft policy are available through the Department of Public Information and Web Services by calling 301.279.3391. The policy can also be viewed on the MCPS website. Individuals who wish to provide comments should respond in writing by September 30. All written responses should be sent to the Office of the Superintendent of Schools, 850 Hungerford Drive, Room 122, Rockville, Maryland 20850 or sent by email to the Board of Education at All responses will be shared with the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools.

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