WES Feasibility

The Woodlin PTA and Woodlin Elementary School (WES) are working together to address the capacity concerns at Woodlin. Below is information to help the WES community get up-to-speed and stay informed regarding this issue. As new information becomes available the WES Feasibility Group will update this page accordingly.

If you have any questions, please contact the WES PTA Feasibility Group via Laura Stewart, PTA President (president@woodlinpta.org) and/or Karen Miller, PTA Co Vice-President (vp@woodlinpta.org). Note: The WES Feasibility Group are currently recruiting ‘WES Feasibility Liaisons.’ For more information please visit our Become A PTA Volunteer webpage.

Letter from your PTA President

Now that we have had our Back To School nights and have seen the new portable situation in the back of the school, I would like to share with you the status of the possibility of a permanent classroom expansion.

Woodlin has had an architect firm out to plan a 9 classroom expansion. The money for the expansion had not been allocated, but it was estimated that work could start in 2017. We had expected that the money would have been allocated on the current CIP (Capitol Improvement Plan.) Instead, we were included in a study of 12 elementary schools as part of a comprehensive plan for our part of the DCC (Down County Consortium.)

I took part in a long term planning meeting with the county and was told that the 2017 date is still a possibility for new construction for Woodlin, even though the money has not been allocated yet. The 12 school study will also include other feasibility studies for other schools so they can deal with the tremendous growth in our part of the county in a comprehensive way.

The Woodlin BAC (Buidling Action Committee) is working on a suggested letter to send to the county, testimony to be presented at the County Board Meeting dedicated to the CIP, and strategy to make the most of our very enthusiastic parent body. The BAC will plan to meet in the next couple weeks.

I will be speaking briefly about this topic on September 9th at the General PTA Meeting, and on October 7th there will be a full information and strategy session on making sure Woodlin will be prepared for the future.

More information is available at: http://gis.mcpsmd.org/cipmasterpdfs/MP15CH4_DCC.pdf

PTA FEASIBILITY NEWS (updated September 2014)

I hope you have had a chance to send along a letter to the Board of Education, the County Council, and Dr. Starr’s office (see this document for contact information). If you haven’t , it isn’t too late! Please feel free to edit and use the template or craft your own demanding that action be taken to ensure proper facilities for our students.

For those parents with children in portables now, if you have specific concerns, please highlight those in your letters. Let’s show our elected officials and MCPS that we have a strong voice!

Please take the time to drop me an email at karenseelig@yahoo.com once you do send those messages so that I can track the numbers.

Thank you so much for your great advocacy work on behalf of our community!

–Karen Miller
(Isabel, 2nd–Carter)
PTA Co-Vice President

PTA FEASIBILITY NEWS (updated July 2014)

As most of you are aware, Woodlin is experiencing a serious overcrowding issue, which is again resulting in the installation of additional portable classrooms, which in turn takes away more play space for the kids.  We have formed a committee, known as the Building Action Committee, to organize and try to address these very important issues.

As a community, we need to mobilize and demonstrate to the county the very real needs of the school and the various stake holders (to use an MCPS term), including teachers, administration, the surrounding community, and, most importantly, our children.  Please be on the lookout over the next few weeks for additional information, including sample language for letters and emails, names and addresses of MCPS and Board of Education officials to whom these letters and emails may be sent, and more data and information about the process of getting relief from the overcrowding and portables.  We will also look to get a sizeable group together when the Board of Ed meets in the Fall to discuss the Capital Improvement Plan and school construction to attend and make our presence known.   We are reaching out to the neighborhood civic associations to get as much support as possible from the surrounding community, but please also feel free to share any and all information with your friends and neighbors who may not currently have elementary school aged children.  This is an issue that also impacts future Woodlin families, as we are currently off track for an addition.

Thanks for your support and keep an eye out for emails concerning the Building Action Committee.

PTA FEASIBILITY NEWS (updated June 2014)

The Woodlin PTA and WES are in the process of putting together a ‘WES Feasibility Working Group’ which will consist of WES administrators and WES parent volunteers (PTA Board and WES community members). The parent volunteers (WES Feasibility Liaisons) will keep the school community informed and advocate on their behalf regarding feasibility concerns. Note: The Working Group is tentatively scheduled to hold it’s first meeting in Summer or Fall 2014. If you are interested in becoming a feasibility liaison please go to the ‘Become a PTA Volunteer‘ page for contact information.

WES CAPACITY STATUS (updated June 2014)

According to Principal Moua “WES is projected to have 685 students for the 2014-2015 school year. However, WES will more likely have approximately 650 students, which is roughly 40 more students than [in 2013-2014].” As as result, Woodlin will have nine portables (increase of two from 2013-2014) – two by the parking lot and seven in the grassy area behind the school. There will be four ‘5th grade’ portable/classrooms and three ‘second grade’ portables/classrooms with the other two portables to be used for specials, which has been the standard.

Note: Due to new fire codes, the two existing portables closest to WES will be removed and replaced with two new ones and located further out onto the field behind the school (making a total of four portables that will be placed onto the field in Summer 2014).  MCPS’ placement of WES portables were determined by the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue based on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulations.  Use and occupancy permits are issued by Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services, and will only be issued prior to occupancy if compliance is met.

For more information about the portables please review MCPS Relocatable Classrooms Program and 2014-2015 Location Map of WES Portables.

WES FEASIBILITY BACKGROUND

In late Fall 2012 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) asked Woodlin Elementary School (WES) Principal Sarah Sirgo (2007-2013), WES Assistant Principal Troy Clarke (2007-2014) and Woodlin PTA President Angelia Levy (2012-2014) to help select an architectural firm to design and coordinate the building addition and renovations to WES due to capacity concerns. At that time funding had not been officially set aside to cover WES’ renovation and construction costs nor had a date been finalized as to when the construction work would begin. According to Ms. Levy it appeared that MCPS, Mrs. Sirgo, and Mr. Clarke and herself were doing initial legwork (i.e. selecting firm, schedule selected architectural firm to speak to WES community, etc.) so that if/when construction funds were made available MCPS would be able to begin renovations at WES as soon as possible. However, at that time Ms. Levy felt that the earliest work could begin at WES would be 2017, which was her estimation based on information and timelines discussed at the meetings. Since Spring 2013 WES and the WES PTA haven’t had any additional meetings with MCPS about the suggested renovation plans. In March 2014 Ms. Levy spoke with Current WES Principal Shoua Moua about the status of renovations at Woodlin Elementary. Principal Moua stated that MCPS hasn’t allocated any construction or renovation funds for WES for 2014-2015 (see ‘Board of Education Approves’ 11/18/2013 memo below) and that there are other schools in the downcounty consortium who are undergoing feasibility studies. Accordingly, it appears that WES will be relying on classroom portables for the foreseeable future.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION NEWS

Maryland Governor O’Malley Issues Executive Order To Study School Construction Funding in Maryland (5/6/2014)

Montgomery County Getting An Extra $5 Million From State For School Construction (4/30/2014) 

Montgomery Takes School Construction Fight To Annapolis: Parents, teachers and officials press for more money (3/7/2014) 

Three Largest Maryland Counties Unite For Increased School Construction Funding (1/14/2014)

WES FEASIBILITY PLANS (current as of Fall 2013)

Most current information (prepared for MCPS) from Moseley Architects, architectural firm that was selected to design and coordinate WES’ building addition and renovations.

WES Feasibility Study (October 2013) 

WES Feasibility 2013 Meeting Notes drafted by Moseley Architects regarding WES building renovations.

  1. February 6
  2. February 20
  3. March 20

SCHOOL BOUNDARY LINES

DCC 29 Boundary Study Position Paper Presented By WES PTA (June 2011) Position paper presented to MCPS on behalf of WES community. Paper was in response to MCPS’ suggested changes to Woodlin’s school boundary (i.e. student population reduction and redistribution) due to nearby construction of the Flora Singer Elementary School (then known as ‘DCC29′) and the overcrowding at Oakland Terrace Elementary School. Note: MCPS decided to maintain WES’ current school boundary and adjusted the boundary to Oakland Terrace. Parents who had children already enrolled at WES and who happened to be within Flora Singer’s school boundary would remain at WES. If they wanted their child(ren) to attend Flora Singer they would have to petition MCPS in order to do so.

MCPS CONSTRUCTION FUNDING INFORMATION

Montgomery County ‘School Construction Funding’ is an official county website dedicated to the issues surrounding school funding

MCPS ‘Schools At A Glance’ provides information about enrollment, staffing, facilities, programs, outcome measures and personnel costs for each Montgomery County Public School (MCPS). Summaries of the data for the county and by level (elementary, middle, high and special education schools) are also included.

MCPS Capital Improvement Master Plan Program FY 2015 and MCPS’ Capital Budget and Recommended FY 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). Includes information regarding projected school enrollments and capacities; an assessment of space availability at all schools and long-range facility plans and recommended capital projects along with their completion schedules.

MCCPTA Capital Improvement Program Guidebook is a general overview of MCPS’ school budget process and terminology (operating budget vs. capital budget) by Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations.

MCPS, COUNTY, STATE, AND FEDERAL CONTACT INFORMATION