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MCPS Commitment to Safety, Security and Well-Being in All Schools: UPDATE Includes Restroom Plan
Collaboration is critical to implementing this plan, and MCPS is working closely with staff, students, parents and the broader community, which aligns with our ongoing "All Together Now" approach to meeting the needs of all students, staff, and community members connected to MCPS. The framework will be built using essential elements of collaboration, targeted resources, monitoring and accountability.
Immediate actions the district has in place to address concerns for safety and well-being that are done or about to be done. They include:
On Saturday, Feb. 25, along with community partners, Northwood High School will host a Fentanyl Family Forum to raise awareness of the deadly consequences of illegal fentanyl currently affecting many youth in our community. In January, MCPS hosted the first Fentanyl Family Forum at Clarksburg High School.
Additional immediate strategies include:
Deploying additional security assistants to secondary schools to assist in prevention measures and respond to safety incidents.
Share ongoing student, staff, and family messages about safety, (Safety Message from Feb. 10, 2023—Fentanyl Awareness from Dec. 9, 2022)
Hosting a series of sessions to hear the various perspectives of stakeholders regarding current safety and well-being and potential enhancements
Establishing an MCPS Safety and Security and Student Well-being Advisory Group.
A Student Restroom Monitoring Plan
Our restrooms must be safe places for students and cannot be places for activities that violate our code of conduct, such as drug and tobacco use. Staff are increasing the frequency of their visual monitoring and checks inside restrooms throughout the school day, between class periods and during lunch periods.
In secondary schools, latches are being installed on exterior restroom doors to ensure they remain open, while balancing privacy and safe use. Schools may also limit access to designated restrooms during transition periods and unstructured times, such as before school, after school and during lunch periods.
These measures, along with additional support from the Department of Systemwide Safety and Emergency Management, are being implemented to enhance the level of security.
Short-term strategies include evaluating and examining particular practices, policies and procedures that impact student safety and well-being. These strategies include the following:
Reviewing the MCPS Student Code of Conduct.
Piloting student badges in select secondary schools.
Evaluating the Community Engagement Officer (CEO) 2.0 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Providing training refreshers for staff related to emergency preparedness that include emergency lockdown, evacuation, shelter-in-place drills, and parent-child reunification drills for students, staff and families.
Long-term strategies include ongoing examination of the effectiveness of the strategies mentioned above and, by the beginning of the next school year, implementation of an MCPS Safety and Well-Being Framework, which will include the following:
Placing standardized safety and security signage in all facilities
Revising student attendance practices
Revising the Student Code of Conduct
Ensuring the CEO 2.0 MOU continues to meet school and district needs.
Adding student assemblies on safety
Adding district staff training
Adding an emergency and safety compliance module to annual employee training.
MCPS is committed to ensuring all students have a safe and nurturing environment to learn and thrive. All staff members are responsible for promoting school safety and contributing to a safe, supportive and inclusive school climate for all students and staff. Our Schools, Our Students and Our Responsibility is the work of MCPS. Equally important is the responsibility of families to speak with their children about expectations at school and home to denounce unacceptable behaviors, including drugs, weapons and violence. These have no place at school or in our communities.
As we look forward to the spring and the end of the school year, we will continue to keep students, families, and our community informed on the steps and measures we will monitor and put in place to keep our students and safe for learning.
See other details of the plan and timeline here. https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/security/plan.aspx
See the most recent message about Safety and Security (Feb. 10, 2023)
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