Roundtable Advisory Group Presents Options for Wheaton and Edison High's Future

Superintendent decision by early February.

Update, Jan. 18: The report will be presented on Jan. 20th, at 7:30 p.m. after being rescheduled twice due to snow.

Wheaton and Thomas Edison High School of Technology share a building on Dalewood Drive in Glenmont, but with the entire campus scheduled to be renovated in the near future, the possibility of merging the separate schools into one has encountered some resistance.

"The staff here overwhelmingly supports Edison remaining a separate entity,” Edison Principal Carlos Hamlin said. 

The county school system Wheaton and Edison as part of a "high-tech high" program in September of last year, but MCPS wasn't awarded the magnet assistance grant needed from the U.S. Department of Education.

Both schools are slated to undergo modernization, with construction scheduled to be completed by August 2015. Wheaton's modernization, along with nearby elementary school , are part of the current capital improvement budget. 

Over the past several months, a Roundtable Advisory Committee — comprised of Montgomery County Public Schools staff, members of the business community, and several parents — has met and compiled a report that contains their suggestions to Superintendent Jerry D. Weast. Weast will release his recommendation to the Board of Education on Feb. 8.  

The report will be presented to the public by MCPS staff at a meeting Tuesday, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the Wheaton High School auditorium. Staff will present several potential options discussed by the committee, including combining the two schools, keeping them independent or a hybrid model. Possible programmatic and academic changes, as well as facility improvements are part of the proposal. 

“The issue is what is best for students across the school system,” MCPS spokesman Dana Tofig said.

Tofig added that finances are always a concern, and MCPS wants to offer students the most they can with the resources available to them. 

Roundtable Advisory Committee member and Edison parent Theresa Defino expressed concern that there hadn't been enough time dedicated to assessing the potential positive and negative results of each option.

“I want to see Wheaton and Edison improved in a way that is thoughtful and inclusive of all stakeholders,” Defino said.

The Board of Education will make its final ruling on March 28.  

Theresa Defino January 17, 2011 at 07:00 PM
"Possible programmatic and academic changes, as well as facility improvements are part of the proposal." This statement is unattributed and I wonder where it came from. As a member of the Roundtable Advisory Commitee, I can assure you this is false. One of my biggest beefs is that such "changes" have not been addressed at all.
Theresa Defino January 17, 2011 at 07:03 PM
This meeting was snowed out. It has been rescheduled to tomorrow evening. http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/planning/pdf/EdisonWheatonPIM.pdf Immediately prior to this meeting, the Roundtable Advisory Commitee will meet for the last time. That will be held from 6 to 7:25 PM at Edison. I urge Wheaton Patch and members of the community to attend both meetings.
Taylor Kate Brown January 18, 2011 at 03:48 PM
Theresa - Thanks for your comment and your insight as a member of the Roundtable Advisory Committee. The sentence and paragraph is paraphrased from the meeting notice that MCPS sent out online. I've linked it in the paragraph so it's clear. Right now, I'm trying to figure out if the presentation is on for this evening, given the school closures today - I'll update this article when I found out.


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