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November 2021

Student Member of the Board of Education

Issue 3

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. I hope you were able to finish off the first quarter strong! We have a lot of half days and days off from school this month to look forward to, but I’ll also be continuing to visit you all at your schools during lunch to hear any concerns or ideas you may have. To see when I’m visiting your school, check out my calendar.

As we progress through this school year, I’ve been sharing updates from board meetings about new construction projects, financial literacy, and more on social media. Feel free to check out these updates or reach out with any questions! 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 from November!

How to Run for SMOB Event

Student Member of the Board of Education

Interested in running for SMOB this year or in the future? Join my next SMOB Advisory Council meeting on November 17th from 6-7:30pm on Zoom where our meeting topic will be “How to Run for SMOB”. The event will feature a panel of former candidates, including Neha Kohli, Blen Yohannes, Shelton Fantroy and Henry Kaye; as well as an informational presentation on the different aspects of the election and position. Register to get the Zoom link:

Financial Literacy & Graduation Requirements

In October, I introduced a resolution asking the Superintendent to study whether MCPS can expand a financial literacy elective to all 25 high schools by 2022-2023, and add a new 0.5 credit graduation requirement for financial literacy beginning in the 2023-2024 school year with the Class of 2028. I am excited to share that this resolution passed unanimously at our November 9th meeting. 

The Board also voted to decrease the elective requirement from 2.5 to 2.0 credits to offset the new statewide requirement for 1.0 credits of health, an increase of 0.5 credits from previous years. Both these changes will begin with the Class of 2025.

Capital Improvements Plan

November is Capital Improvements Plan season for the Board of Education! The Capital Improvements Plan includes all of the plans for upcoming new schools, renovations, additions, and other infrastructure from 2023-2028. Interested to see if schools in your area are scheduled for any projects? Check out this summary of the upcoming infrastructure projects for our county by school cluster. 

School Year Calendar

Recently, MCPS staff introduced three options for the 2022-2023 school year calendar. Students, families, staff, and community members have been asked to provide feedback through an easy 2-3 minute survey. Key issues include when school should begin and end, as well as when Spring Break should be held. At this time, only 3% of the responses are from students. We need your voice! Please take a few minutes to visit the MCPS Proposed Calendar webpage to find and complete the survey.

Student Member of the Board of Education

COVID-19 Dashboard

Interested in knowing how many COVID-19 cases are at your school, or how many students have been quarantined? Check out this new MCPS COVID-19 dashboard which displays information both countywide and by school.

Boundary Studies

The Board of Education is currently in the process of conducting boundary studies for two regions in our county. The first region is in Gaithersburg, where a new elementary school is being constructed, impacting the boundaries of Gaithersburg ES, Rosemont ES, Strawberry Knoll ES, Summit Hall ES, and Washington Grove ES, as well as Gaithersburg MS and Forest Oak MS. You can find the different options for boundaries, as well as the Interim Superintendent’s recommendation at this link

The second boundary study is in Bethesda, where Bethesda ES, Westbrook ES, and Somerset ES will be affected in order to address overcrowding at Bethesda ES. You can find the different options for boundaries, as well as the Interim Superintendent’s recommendation at this link. Public hearings on this recommendation have already been held, and the Board of Education will be making its decision on November 18th. 

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 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.
  • 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.