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December 2021

Student Member of the Board of Education

Issue 4

Monthly Student Newsletter

Student Member of the Board of Education

Hello everyone!

Hana O’Looney, your 44th Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) here. Winter Break is almost here, let’s hit this home stretch of 2021 strong! To view my last few school visits for this calendar year, check out my calendar.

As we progress through this school year, I’ve been sharing updates from board meetings about updates to the calendar, menstrual products, and more on social media. You can always email me at Hana_O’, DM me on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok @hanaolooney, or contact me through my website,

Below are some updates and opportunities I’m excited to share with you this December!

Student Member of the Board of Education

NEW HALF DAYS: Changes to This Year’s Calendar

In recognition of the added workload on both staff and students this year as we recover from a global pandemic, the Board of Education voted to add three new half days to the 2021-2022 school year calendar: Wednesday January 12, Thursday March 24, and Wednesday May 18. Additionally, systemwide closures were added for 12-month staff during Winter Break, Spring Break, and Juneteenth. 

Student Member of the Board of Education

Menstrual Product Dispensers

MCPS presented its plan to bring free menstrual product dispensers to all bathrooms in all elementary, middle, and high schools by October 2025. To begin, a pilot program to bring menstrual product dispensers to Montgomery Village Middle School and White Oak Middle School will begin this January. Then, over the summer, two menstrual product dispensers will be installed in every middle and high school, and one product dispenser will be installed in every elementary school by October 2022.

If you’re interested in advising the MCPS Department of Finance and Operations on the types of products and dispensers that should be installed, as well as other logistics, please email Hana_O’

Election of the 45th SMOB

The Board of Education approved the election timeline for the 45th Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB), which includes the dates below. To learn more about the election process, the timeline, rules and regulations, and hear from former SMOBs, click here. Remember, the only two requirements to run for office are 1) Must be a current sophomore or junior enrolled at an MCPS High School. 2) Must live in Montgomery County. 

Advertising/Candidate Filing Period

January 4-27, 2022

Nominating Convention

(Elected delegates from each middle and high school
select the two finalists)

February 16, 2022

Nominating Convention Snow Date

February 23, 2022

General Campaign Period

February 16 - April 20, 2022

General Election

April 20, 2022

Student Member of the Board of Education

2023 Operating Budget

Last month, each Board of Education member presented their priorities for the Fiscal Year 2023 MCPS Operating Budget. Hana’s shared budget priorities include increasing the number of school psychologists and mental health support, increasing the quality of school lunch, keeping school food free, increased extracurricular and elective opportunities for high-poverty schools, expansions of ACES and CollegeTracks, and providing funding for SMOB candidate campaigns. 

If you would like to share items that you think should be reflected in the budget, email the Board of Education at or share testimony at our upcoming Operating Budget hearings on January 10th or January 18th from 6-10pm, either in-person or through a pre-recorded video or audio file. More information about the hearings will be shared soon.

Restorative Justice

To focus MCPS more on restorative justice methods instead of discipline to correct disobedience, as well as mental health and trauma supports for students, the Board took tentative action on Policy JGA, which will be renamed from Student Discipline to Behavior Intervention Safety and Well-Being Plan.

2022 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session

The Board of Education voted on its stances on upcoming local bills filed by the Montgomery County Delegation of the Maryland General Assembly, including the following:

  • MC 5-22: SMOB Scholarship

    • SUPPORT an increase in the SMOB scholarship from $5,000 to the value of a full year’s tuition and other costs at the University of Maryland, roughly $28,000

  • MC 4-22: Election of Board of Education Members

    • OPPOSE a change in the electoral process of Board members so that they would only be elected by their district and not the entire county

  • MC 16-22: Additional Board of Education Member

    • OPPOSE the addition of one At-Large Board of Education member, especially before the salary of Board members is increased

  • MC 13-22: Ranked-Choice/Approval Voting

    • NO STANCE on changing the voting process of all elected offices in Montgomery County to ranked-choice or approval voting system

Student Member of the Board of Education

Choose Respect Video Contest

Want to earn 10 SSL hours and have a chance at winning $1,000? Enter the Choose Respect Video Contest! All you have to do is make a 60 second video in English or Spanish on teen dating violence and prevention. Visit this link for contest rules and more information. 

Student Member of the Board of Education

Student Groups

Interested in getting involved with student leadership? How about LGBTQ+ representation, disability justice or educational activism? A document that explains the various student leadership opportunities in MCPS, and updates from a few organizations can be found here

  • High Schoolers: Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association (MCR-SGA) represents the views and ideas of all MCPS high school students, advocating for a variety of student-related policies before the Board of Education, County Council and Maryland State Legislature.

  • Middle Schoolers: Montgomery County Junior Councils (MCJC) represents all middle school students, pushing for issues to the Montgomery County Board of Education regarding issues middle schoolers are passionate about.

  • The Fans of Asylum and Immigration Reform (F.A.I.R.) is a student-run advocacy group fighting for reform of US detention centers and humane asylum policy.

  • MoCo for Change is an all youth organization, mobilizing the students of Montgomery County to solve the most pressing issues of our time.

  • MoCo EmpowHER provides leadership development opportunities for young women to unlock their full potential and spreads awareness of women’s issues across the county.

  • MoCo Pride Youth aims to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ youth, raise awareness about issues, advocate for representation in MCPS and more.

  • Students Towards Equitable Public Schools (STEPS) aims to promote a culture of diverse, equitable learning so that all MCPS students can receive an equal education.