Monday, October 26, 2015


To: "Councilmember Berliner" <>, "Councilmember Elrich" <>, "Councilmember Floreen" <>, "Councilmember Hucker" <>, "Councilmember Katz" <>, "Councilmember Leventhal" <>, "Councilmember Navarro" <>, "Councilmember Rice" <>, "Councilmember Riemer" <>, "county council" <>, 

Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 6:03:24 PM


Dear Montgomery County Councilmembers,

Once again, Mr. James Song, MCPS Director of Facilities, has lied to you about an important fact that you asked him during the Council Education Committee meeting regarding the proposed B-CC Middle School #2 on Monday October 12, 2015. This is fundamental information which has led Montgomery County leaders, including the MCPS BOE, to base their decisions on misinformation.
When asked whether there are any MCPS middle schools on small sites of less than 10 acres not adjacent to parks, and with larger populations, Mr. Song, hesitantly, responded “Yes.”
Not true!
The MCPS FY2016 CIP, Appendix J, which lists all MCPS school properties, shows that all 4 existing middle schools on less than 10 acres are co-located with a park which doubles their property sizes, allowing for all needed amenities, including parking and standard size program spaces within the school. In addition all 4 schools have far less than 1200 student capacity! Here are the true facts:
  • Lakelands Park Middle School - MCPS Capacity 1,122 - 8.1 acres + 11.6 acre Lakelands Park with lighted fields for baseball, softball, soccer and other team sports, a picnic pavilion, and Billy’s Playground, a fully handicapped-accessible play area for young children. Includes a synthetic turf field.
  • Newport Mill Middle School – MCPS Capacity 825 - 8.4 acres + 10+ acres Newport Mill Park with a playground, three softball fields, soccer field, and three multi-use fields, 3 basketball courts, 2 picnic areas.
  • Parkland Middle School – MCPS Capacity 948 - 9.18 acres + 8.5 acre Parkland Local Park with 2 baseball fields and 2 soccer fields.
  • Earle B. Wood Middle School – MCPS Capacity 961 - 8.5 acres + 10+ acres Earle B. Wood Park with one softball field and one baseball field (with a soccer field overlay), two softball fields under construction, tennis courts, basketball court.
Once again, information was manipulated and withheld to sway decisions, and the deceit only proves that they know what they are doing is wrong! Withholding facts in order to manipulate has been the sanctioned MCPS behavior throughout this entire process, including the Site Selection Committee meetings. Repeated lies only engender questions about what other information has been withheld to influence important decisions about this school. You, our elected leaders, cannot make informed decisions in the best interests of your constituents if you are not told the truth!
We thank you for emphasizing the issues about equity and the importance of creating a great school that is differentiated with excellent programs and academic offerings, compensating for its many shortcomings. We truly would love a superior school in the “Eastern” part of the cluster. You are correct that thousands of constituents and parents will be enraged when they discover the school does not deliver comparable academic or athletic programs as its sister school, Westland MS. However, while Mr. Song stated that there are “no bells and whistles” in this school, he failed to explain how an outstanding school can be created when it is missing core spaces, including:
  • Less than required ESOL rooms
  • Smaller classrooms
  • Cafeteria and auditorium 25% too small to support the needs of 1200 Students.
Schoool administrators will be pre-occupied with addressing these shortfalls, and students will pay the price!
During the meeting you mentioned the importance of master planning. MCPS has made a decision with no consideration of the greater good or the County master plan. Instead, they have used lies and deceit to achieve their goals, taking us backward instead of forward. A smarter solution would be to master plan a new school near the Purple Line, giving parents and students alike access to resources throughout the year. It is shameful that a golden opportunity is being missed to create an exemplary, cooperative 21st Century school and park facility that is central and accessible to the greater community, delivering more value for the $55Million cost to taxpayers.
We are looking to you as our leaders! If you continue to be misinformed and lied to by MCPS, how are you going to ensure that this will be an equitable or superior school for our children?? How are you going to ensure that fair and responsible decisions are being made by MCPS??
This school will be a 50-year legacy left to the community by MCPS and the Montgomery County Council. There is no excuse for the actions of elected officials who prioritize development over our children and quality of life, once a core value in Montgomery County. It's high time for Montgomery County leaders to step up to what is right, and not accept lies, deceit, and manipulation.

Susie Cooper, Mary Maday and other future BCC Middle School #2 Parents

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