Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser Date: August 23, 2019

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Ensuring Student Safety - A Message from MCPS Chief Safety Officer Edward A. Clarke

safety video

Video with English open captions

Table of Contents

As a new school year nears, it is important that we revisit the important topic of safety. Our core purpose as a school system is to prepare all students to thrive in their futures, and we know this cannot be achieved if students don’t feel safe and welcome in our schools.

For this reason, MCPS is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for students and staff. We do this through a comprehensive, coordinated and strategic approach to systemwide safety and security. Our work is built on the foundation of state and local laws and Montgomery County Board of Education policies, and informed by the voices of students, staff, parents and community members.

Use the table of contents or scroll down to see some of the ways MCPS is working to ensure student safety every day.

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Building Safety

  • Updated school emergency plans at every school (Learn more)
  • On-site emergency teams at each school to assist in a school emergency.
  • A partnership with the Montgomery County Police Department, fire and rescue services, and other county agencies to support schools during emergencies (Read the MOU)
  • School safety evaluations conducted at all schools and educational sites
  • Mandatory safety drills for fire and weather emergencies
  • Enhanced preparations training for active assailant emergencies (Learn more)
  • A school resource officer in every high school (Read more)
  • Hundreds of dedicated MCPS security staff who support elementary, middle and high schools across the county
  • Controlled access systems and entryways at schools
  • Expansion of security vestibules at schools
  • A visitor management system at schools that screens all visitors though state and national sex offender databases
  • A comprehensive report on school safety and security (Read the 2018 report and action plan)
  • Security cameras in all high and middle schools, with cameras being added to elementary schools
  • Mandatory training for school resource officers and security staff
  • A focus and vigilance from all staff members on building security

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After-school Supervision

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  • Enhanced supervision plans required for each sport and after-school activity
  • An external review of after-school supervision safety to be released in September 2019, in coordination with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office

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Student Health and Wellness

well being
  • Be Well 365 comprehensive social-emotional skills building in all schools (Learn more)
  • Resources on the dangers of vaping (Link)
  • School-based wellness centers
  •  School Community Health Nurses or School Health Room Technicians in every school (Learn more)
  • Suicide prevention training for students at all middle and high schools
  • Access to anonymous tip line to report concerns regarding mental health crises, bullying, threats of violence and more (Learn more)
  • BTheOne mental health campaign in partnership with Montgomery County, Every Mind and Family Services, Inc. (Learn about the campaign)
  • Staff training on behavioral threat assessment
  • A comprehensive health curriculum for students at all levels
  • Mental health resources and crisis supports for students (Learn more
  • Mandatory training for all staff on suicide prevention and intervention
  • A streamlined reporting process for suicide risk reporting (Read more)
  • Linkages to Learning initiative (Read more)
  • Recovery Academic Program for students emerging from addiction (Learn more)
  • Resources for Montgomery County Substance Abuse Assessment and Treatment (See the resources)
  • Restorative justice programs for students (Learn more)
  • Mandatory cultural proficiency training for educators

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elementary school students getting on bus

Bus Safety

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Safety Legislation, Policies, Regulations and Guidelines

  • Passage of the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018 (Read the Act)  
  • Adoption of Board of Education Policy COA: Student Well-being and School Safety (Learn More)
  • Development of Regulation COA-RA, which outlines protocols for Behavioral Threat Assessment  (Read the Regulation
  • Implementation of Policy ACA: Nondiscrimination, Equity, and Cultural Proficiency (Read the policy)

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pedestrian safety video

Pedestrian Safety

  • Pedestrian safety resources (Learn more)
  • Pedestrian Safety Public Service Announcement – “Getting to School is Not a Race” (Watch)
  • Partnership with Montgomery County Government to promote pedestrian and bike safety (Watch the video)
  • Pedestrian safety lessons embedded in the health curriculum

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Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect

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  • Multi-point background checks for all employees, contractors and certain volunteers (Learn more)
  • Mandatory training for employees, contractors and volunteers in preventing, recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect (Take the training)
  • Age- and developmentally appropriate personal body safety lessons for all students (See the lessons)
  • Streamlined reporting process for incidents of abuse (Review our MCPS policy and reports on child abuse)
  • A code of conduct for all employees (Read more)
  • Creation of the Child Abuse and Neglect Stakeholder Continuous Improvement Team (Read more)
  • Online Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (See form)

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Bullying and Harassment Prevention

  • A streamlined process for reporting incidents of bullying (Bullying Reporting Form)
  • Training for all employees on preventing and reporting bullying, harassment and intimidation
  • Training for all student-athletes on identifying hazing and promoting a positive culture (Learn more)
  • Increased emphasis on sportsmanship expectations at all athletic events to encourage prevention and reporting of discriminatory behavior
  • Gang-awareness training for MCPS staff in collaboration with law enforcement partner agencies
  • Updated guidelines regarding student gender identity matters (Read more)
  • Counseling support for students
  • Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity (Read the guidelines)
  • Annual Choose Respect healthy teen dating conference (Learn more)

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boy at school playground

Environmental Safety

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Digital Safety

  • Guidelines on data privacy and security (Read more)
  • Lessons on digital citizenship and combating cyberbullying and harassment for students (Learn more)
  • Mandatory training for staff on safety and security in a digital age
  • Social media best practices for staff (Learn More)
  • Best practices for email and other digital communications for staff (Learn more)

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We look forward to a great and safe school year with you!


Edward A. Clarke
Chief Safety Officer