Board of Education Receives Presentation on Be Well 365 Initiative; Takes Action on Policies; and Approves Plan to Establish a Hospitality Foundation

May 16, 2019

The Montgomery County Board of Education (Board) met on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville.  During the meeting, the Board heard a presentation on the Be Well 365: Physical, Social, and Psychological Well-being of All Students Initiative; took action on two policies; voted to establish a new hospitality foundation; and made several administrative appointments.

The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website.

Be Well 365: Physical, Social, and Psychological Well-being of All Students

Staff members provided the Board with a presentation regarding the new Be Well 365 framework and initiative. The Be Well 365 initiative addresses the physical, social and psychological well-being for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students, which research has demonstrated helps support academic growth and lifelong personal and career success.

Be Well 365 aims to provide students with knowledge, skills, and abilities in six essential areas:

1. Culturally Responsive Relationship Building

2. Mental and Emotional Health

3. Trauma-informed Practices

4. Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices

5. Physical Health and Wellness

6. Character Education and Empathy

Strategic goals of the framework include a greater student sense of well-being; improved academic achievement; greater student engagement with school; improved attendance; and reduced disciplinary offenses.

The aim of Be Well 365 is for all MCPS students to attend schools where the curriculum, programs, and strategies foster academic success and physical, social, and psychological growth and development in the 6 Essential areas. The focus on student health and wellness, especially on physical and mental health, also has been driven by Maryland law, which have established requirements to support students’ physical health, physical safety, and mental health.

Be Well 365 will be phased in across the district in a multiyear approach and will incorporate ongoing feedback from stakeholder groups and school-based staff members.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Tentative Action, Policy COA

The Board held a discussion and took tentative action on Policy COA, Student Well-being and School Safety. The Board’s Policy Management Committee reviewed the new policy at its April 8, and May 7, 2019, meetings.

In spring 2017, MCPS launched a comprehensive review of its protocols, practices, and infrastructure related to the critical imperative of maintaining safe, orderly learning environments for all students. In summer 2017, MCPS released the Interim Report: School Safety & Security Focusing on High Schools. On April 12, 2018, the Board received the final report. The Final Report, School Safety and Security 2018 (which includes the interim report) reaffirmed the priority recommendations for MCPS high schools and expanded these recommendations to elementary and middle schools. The new policy ties together the efforts outlined in the interim and final reports into the district’s work on student well-being.

Specifically, draft Policy COA addresses safety from the perspective of promoting a positive  school climate; creating accountability for all; including behavioral threat assessments; facilities, security staff, and technology; collaborating with County partners, including health and law enforcement agencies; and developing more stringent emergency planning and preparedness plans. The policy also incorporates language from the Principles for School Safety, Privacy, and Equity, to protect all students’ safety, privacy, and right to an equal education.

The draft policy will now be sent out for public comment.

Read the draft policy.

Final Action, Policy KBA

On January 8, 2019, the Board of Education took tentative action on Policy KBA, Policy on Public Information, and sent it out for public comment. The proposed revisions set forth a vision for effective communication with members of the Montgomery County community across a variety of existing and emerging media and communication channels appropriate to the purposes, needs, opportunities, and obligations of the school district and the community. 

The Board seeks to encourage respect, trust, confidence, and a unified understanding of the educational programs and operations of MCPS. Furthermore, the revisions document the Board’s expectations for communicating appropriate information to the public in a timely and complete manner, while striving to confirm the accuracy of such information and to provide clear, concise, and publicly accessible explanatory context, when possible. The Board approved the revisions and took final action on the policy at its May 14, 2019, meeting.

Read the memorandum to the Board.

Hospitality Foundation

MCPS high school career and technology education pathways are organized in broad career clusters designed to provide students with multiple career pathways leading to employment in high-demand areas of the economy, postsecondary education, and industry licensures and certifications.  To facilitate strong industry partnerships, programs within certain career clusters have associated student foundations, which are external nonprofit organizations that partner with MCPS to promote and advance the interests of career readiness in MCPS. Current foundations include: Montgomery County Students Automotive Trades Foundation, Inc.; Montgomery County Students Construction Trades Foundation, Inc.; and Montgomery County Students Information Technology Foundation, Inc. MCPS staff will be working with leaders across all of the student foundations to establish an umbrella Memorandum of Understanding to align the work of each of the student foundations.

The Board received a presentation and held a discussion about the new Hospitality Foundation. During the past year, business leaders in the hospitality industry have been actively planning for the formation of an additional foundation to support student experiences in hospitality programs across MCPS. The new Hospitality Foundation is anticipated to officially launch on July 1, 2019.

Read the Memorandum to the Board.

Facilities and School Construction

The Board awarded a contract for the Student Information System.

The Board accepted the Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School addition project.

The Board also approved the architectural appointment for the Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Walter Johnson Clusters Elementary Schools Capacity Study project.

Administrative Appointment

The Board approved the following administrative appointments:

Dr. Brenda Lewis, currently assistant principal, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, as director, Department of Elementary Curriculum and Districtwide Programs, Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs

Valeria B. da Silva, currently supervisor, Department of Learning Management Systems, Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), as supervisor, Learning Management Systems and Development, OCTO

Stacey A. Kopnitsky, currently assistant director, Department of Certification and Staffing, Office of Human Resources and Development (OHRD), as assistant director, Department of Certification and Staffing, OHRD

Matthew R. McGoldrick, currently assistant to the chief technology officer, OCTO, as supervisor, Systems Engineering and Integration, OCTO

Darshini S. Shah, currently supervisor, Department of Learning Management Systems, OCTO, as supervisor, Information Architecture and Data Systems Operations, OCTO

Nasser Zureick, currently team leader, Department of Business Information Services, OCTO, as supervisor, Enterprise Resource Planning Program Management and Support, OCTO

Dr. Daman L. Harris, currently assistant principal, Wheaton Woods Elementary School, as principal, Wheaton Woods Elementary School

Christina S. Lee, currently principal intern, Fallsmead Elementary School, as principal, Fallsmead Elementary School

Dr. Karin M. Wade, currently principal intern, Dr. Sally K. Ride Elementary School, as principal, Travilah Elementary School


The Board approved the resolution recognizing the Superintendent's Annual Mark Mann Excellence and Harmony Award recipient, Mr. Jeffrey L. Cline, principal, Oak View Elementary School.

The Board approved the resolution declaring May 13–17, 2019, as Pupil Personnel Worker Week.

The Board approved the resolution recognizing the League of Educators for Asian American Progress Scholarship Recipients.

Future Meeting

The Board of Education will hold its next regular business meeting Thursday, May 30, 2019.  Please check the Board of Education website and meeting calendar for further information. 

About the Board of Education
The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policymaking body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. Board members are elected countywide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.

Montgomery County Board of Education members include:  Mrs. Shebra L. Evans, president; Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, vice president. Members: Ms. Jeanette E. Dixon, Dr. Judith Docca, Ms. Karla Silvestre, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, Ms. Brenda Wolff, and Ms. Ananya Tadikonda, student member. Dr. Jack R. Smith, superintendent of schools and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 240-740-3030.


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