Culture of Well-Being

Foster a Culture of Well-Being and support for all staff and students

Well-being is a fundamental component of the school experience. All students and staff deserve a welcoming learning and work environment where they feel safe, connected, respected, and included. Creating a culture of well-being is key to the engagement and success of students, families, and staff, and requires the integration of many elements - leadership, professional learning opportunities, equitable access to culturally appropriate services, supporting policies and procedures, academic and non-academic strategies, and engagement with families.

students in class  

Every MCPS school strives to create a culture that provides not only an optimal learning environment, but also serves to promote students’:

  • sense of safety and belonging
  • supportive relationships with adults and peers
  • confidence and ability to regulate emotions and behaviors
  • physical, social, and psychological health and well-being
  • academic and non-academic development

Fostering the well-being of MCPS staff, no matter what role they play, is also essential to an overall culture of well-being and has positive outcomes:

  • higher job satisfaction
  • lower absenteeism
  • decreased anxiety and stress
  • increased student-home connectedness
  • increased sense of belonging and engagement

Supports for Student and Staff Well-Being

MCPS addresses the well-being of students and staff through district and school-based programs and initiatives where the goal is to ensure students and staff can do their best work, achieve, and thrive.

Student Well-Being

MCPS provides effective proactive services and responsive supports to address the full-range of social and emotional well-being and mental health needs of students, staff and families. Some of these supports/resources include:

  • Student Well-Being Teams – A collaborative, multi-disciplinary problem-solving team to support students and families by reducing barriers to learning, conducting outreach, problem-solving, and supporting students who are demonstrating mental health concerns and/or not attending or engaging in school.
  • Social Emotional Learning Curriculum – Lessons that address the physical, social, and psychological needs of students so that they have the capacity to stay safe and resilient and seek help from trusted adults when needed.  Coming soon is the new “The Leader in Me” curriculum designed to teach leadership, create a culture of student empowerment, and increase academic performance.
  • Our Minds Matter – Student led club focusing on building social connectedness, help-seeking behavior, and positive coping skills, while also providing opportunities to practice healthy habits, support peers and friends, and share mental health resources and tools.
  • Mindfulness – Simple and effective techniques that can help students, staff, and families live a happier and more balanced life by learning and practicing skills to manage and respond to emotions.
  • Personal Body Safety Lessons – Grade-level, age appropriate lessons developed to empower students to recognize and report suspected cases of abuse without fear of reprisal.
  • Signs of Suicide Prevention Program – Classroom lessons led by mental health staff and teachers to educate secondary students about the relationship between depression and suicide. Program goals are to increase knowledge and adaptive attitudes towards depression; decrease suicide attempts and deaths by suicide; encourage help-seeking behavior on behalf of oneself or a friend; reduce the stigma and reinforce that mental illness requires treatment; and engage parents/guardians and staff members in prevention efforts through education.
  • Waymaking – A video series that highlights a variety of mental health and well-being resources for staff, students and families.
  • Be Well 365 webpage  – Information and resources about current district-wide well-being activities and a list of all of the staff members that provide well-being support in schools.
  • SUPRE - Substance Use Prevention and Resiliency Education (SUPRE) is a screening and psychoeducational substance use program designed for high school students who have committed their first substance use disciplinary incident on school property. The goal is to increase student and parent/guardian awareness of the potential consequences of substance use.
  • SEME – The Student Empowerment Mentoring Engagement (SEME) is designed to ensure that students and families optimally experience well-being building blocks, including access to basic resources; mental/social/emotional/physical health; supportive, positive relationships; and engaging work and activities.
  • Restorative Justice – An approach to actively engage and problem-solve physical, psychological, social and disciplinary issues that affect students and the community.
  • Newcomers Support ESOL Transition Counselors support students from a cross-cultural perspective to help them succeed academically and adjust to a new social and cultural environment.
  • Parent Academy Virtual workshops that provide families with useful information and resources to support their children's academic and emotional well-being, as well as to help them be college and career ready.
  • All In! – Attendance program to address chronic absenteeism by ensuring students have the supports they need to stay on track for success in school and in life.

Staff Well-Being

Positive learning outcomes can also be achieved by promoting and supporting the well-being of all staff. Some of these supports/resources include:

  • Employee Assistance Program – Provides assessment, counseling, and referral services to assist employees and their family members to help manage personal and/or work-life challenges. Their confidential support services include:
    • Confidential, professional counseling
    • Support and guidance on legal, financial, family and work issues
    • Consultation and coaching for managers on how to deal with difficult situations
    • Workshops on a wide variety of relevant topics
  • Well Aware – An educational program designed to help keep staff active and healthy. Support services include:
    • Online health and wellness classes, including cardio, mindfulness, and nutrition programs
    • Extensive health and wellness webinar library
    • Monthly eNews articles on healthy living and wellness events
    • Wellness challenges to encourage activity and physical fitness
    • Wellness programs and resources, including diabetes management, tobacco cessation, and strategies for improving sleep
  • Be Well 365 Staff webpage – Resources to support staff and their families with:
    • maintaining a work-life balance
    • home and personal life situations
    • information on emotional and physical health
    • staying connected to the community