School Notes: County Board of Education Creates Google Doc for Public Comment

Plus: Montgomery College debuts new alert system; Georgetown Prep introduces next president


News for people looking to comment on county education issues: The school board offices will no longer be taking your calls.

Instead, the board of education is allowing people to sign up online using a Google document, according to an announcement. The school board is changing the process beginning Oct. 23 based on feedback from community members and because of the growing reliance on technology.

“We believe that by changing to an online format, we will be able to reach and hear from more individuals within the community,” the posting stated.

People who want to speak to the school board can add their names to the Google form beginning the Friday morning before the meeting. The form will be open until the following Monday at noon, the online announcement stated.

Calls will no longer be accepted as a way to sign up to speak.

If you have questions, you can email the school board’s legislative aide, Patricia Swanson, at

New emergency alert system launching at Montgomery College

Montgomery College is rolling out a new emergency alert system that can send information by text message, email, voice message, digital signs and social media, according to a press release.

The new MC Alert system is available over a platform from Rave Mobile Safety, a company that designs emergency notification systems. Alerts will go out for campus closings and delays, emergency situations and lockdown orders, the release stated.

Students and college employees can receive alerts on their cellphones or non-college emails by entering their contact information into the system. They can do so by logging into their MyMC account and clicking on the MC Alert icon, according to the release.

People who don’t attend the college can also sign up for alerts on the school’s community portal.

Next president of Georgetown Prep revealed

Georgetown Preparatory School, the nation’s oldest boarding and day school for boys, last week announced the name of its next president.

The Rev. James R. Van Dyke will assume leadership of the North Bethesda school in July 2018, according to a news release.

The school’s current head is the Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, who is leaving Georgetown Prep to become president of the University of Scranton next summer.

Van Dyke currently is director of Ignatian programs and faculty formation at Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York. He’s also the founding principal of Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School in Georgia and has taught English and theology at a number of institutions.

“Fr. Van Dyke has the vision and skills to lead Prep into exciting new opportunities in education and furthering the mission of the school, while honoring our rich Jesuit history and strong traditions and values,” Denis Dwyer, who chairs Georgetown Prep’s board of trustees, said in a news release.

Georgetown Prep, founded in 1789, is a Jesuit school that teaches boys in grades nine through 12.

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