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2022-2023 MCPS

End-of-Year Roundup

From the Desk of Superintendent
Dr. Monifa B. McKnight

Dear MCPS Community,

Now that we’ve wrapped another school year, let’s celebrate the achievements, the growth, and the indomitable spirit that continue to define our journey. As I traveled to every corner of Montgomery County, visiting nearly a third of our schools over these past nine months, I saw students engaged and learning, and I wish to thank the exceptional educators who persistently go above and beyond to provide high-quality instruction and support.

graduationTheir work was evident as Montgomery County Public Schools celebrated the graduation of nearly 12,000 students who will now continue on their pathways to success. To the graduates and their families – congratulations on reaching this significant milestone! You have demonstrated resilience, perseverance, and adaptability to change. We are proud of each graduate’s accomplishments and are excited to see where your future leads.

scienceWe made significant progress in a variety of areas since our mid-year report. The state of Maryland released its Star Rating, in which 92% of MCPS schools earned three or higher.  We repeatedly reported progress on student performance and refined plans to support all students to reach their full academic potential. We released the new Pathway to Student Success in College, Career, and Community initiative. Vital work to address student security issues and incidents of racism, antisemitism, and bias became a focus for school and school system leaders.

We examined school safety issues, put new plans in place to increase overall physical security across every campus, and stood up and spoke out against hate. The Montgomery County Council funded the FY 2024 operating budget, which the Board of Education unanimously approved in pursuit of academic and operational excellence. 

busWe are thrilled to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our students and educators, from graduations to scholarships and academic awards. As we look to the future, we eagerly anticipate the first day of school on Aug. 28, when we will come together again, fully prepared for a new year of learning, growth and achievement. 

With warm and sunny days on the horizon, summer is a time to expand your knowledge by engaging in various activities, from exploring new hobbies and embarking on adventures, to spending quality time with family and friends. Meanwhile, our dedicated educators and administrators are preparing for the next school year. We can't wait to see you all on August 28, the first day of school, when we will come together again, fully prepared for a new year of learning, growth, and achievement! 

Finally, please mark your calendars for the 2023-2024 Back to School Fair on Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Westfield Wheaton Shopping Center. It will be bigger and better than ever!

In partnership,

Dr. Monifa B. McKnight
Superintendent of Schools

P.S.: Below are some resources to help fill your summer with opportunities, fun and activity.

Support Students in Need - Donate Today to the GIVE BACKPacks Campaign

fairSave the Date: The 2023-2024 Back to School Fair will be on Saturday. Aug. 26, again at Westfield Wheaton mall. It will be bigger and better than ever.

Significant Accomplishments

I take great pride in the many successes that our school district has achieved. From increased student achievement to targeted budget efforts, essential employee contracts to help recruit and retain and the many upgrades to school safety, this year has been one of remarkable growth and progress.

It is a testament to the tireless efforts of our dedicated teachers, staff and administrators, and the visionary leadership of our central office leaders. In this section, I have presented the significant accomplishments of the second half of the past school year. It is my constant goal that we raise the bar for excellence in education and set new standards for success. As we look towards the future, I am confident that our district will continue to flourish and thrive.


Student Performance

Student performance data always give an important insight into how well our students are doing in school. On multiple occasions, we reported key information to the Board of Education and all families indicating where our students are demonstrating academic success and areas to adjust. We looked at Evidence of Learning data showing rising scores in math and literacy in grades 3 and 9, while the same data showed we need more focus on the middle grades. We also received the Maryland Star Ratings, with 92% of our schools earning three stars or better.


Mid-Year Evidence of Learning Framework Demonstrates Gains in Student Performance, Continued Areas for Improvement

The Mid-Year Evidence of Learning Framework presented a compelling narrative of student performance, showcasing substantial gains that reflect their hard work and dedication. While we celebrated these achievements, we also recognized the importance of addressing continued areas for improvement, ensuring that every student receives the support they need to reach their full potential.

Maryland State Report Card Shows 92% of MCPS Schools Score 3 or Higher on Star Rating
The  Maryland State Report Card revealed an outstanding accomplishment. An impressive 92% of MCPS schools scored 3 or higher on this state Star Rating, highlighting the exceptional commitment and collaborative efforts of educators, students and families. This remarkable achievement serves as a testament to the quality of education and the unwavering pursuit of excellence within the MCPS community.

Operating Budget for 2023-2024 School Year Approved on June 6

  • The Montgomery County Board of Education unanimously approved the operating budget for FY 2024. Finishing a process that began in August 2022 with staff identifying school and office needs, projecting student enrollment and developing plans to address student academic needs, the school system operating budget supports our plan for academic and operational excellence.


The amount approved by the Montgomery County Council is the largest one-year increase and, importantly, recognizes significant investments needed due to student learning disruption during the pandemic. The budget allows for important salary enhancements, ensures the district can offer competitive pay, does not increase class size and preserves accelerators targeted to math and literacy instruction, especially in the middle grades.

Employee Contracts Ensure MCPS is Competitive in Hiring


Negotiated Important Employee Contracts Ensure MCPS is Competitive in Hiring

Because of the historic operating budget, MCPS and its three employee associations were able to finalize new two-year contracts ensuring competitive salaries and improved working conditions for staff. These agreements recognize the value and expertise staff bring to the district. Importantly, the increased salaries allow the county to remain competitive in its effort to recruit and retain the best and brightest for our students.

Safety and Security in All Schools

MCPS maintains an unwavering commitment to the safety, security and well-being of students and staff. As we navigated the ever-evolving landscape of school safety this year, we had to acknowledge challenges, such as fighting and the use of illegal drugs in some of our school restrooms. In response, we implemented revised safety plans and strategies to address these issues head-on. One revised practice was how we communicate emergency operational changes, so we transitioned to an easier-to-understand “color code system" for school closures and delays. 

This year was an important opportunity to reaffirm our dedication to the safety, security and overall well-being of the entire MCPS community. I shared that work through many community messages.

Message on Safety and Security in Our Schools 

Safety and security in our schools is a critical priority that we work to ensure through prevention measures, essential partnerships and immediate response to any incident. When our school environments are free from safety concerns, our students and staff can focus and perform at their highest levels. Recent stories in the news have led to worrisome thoughts and conversations by students, staff and parents. Despite these recent serious incidents, our 210 schools are some of the safest places in our community because of the attention and processes we have in place to support safety. To maintain high levels of safety, it is important that we all work together as partners.


MCPS Commitment to Safety, Security and Well-Being in All Schools: UPDATE Includes Restroom Plan

MCPS has a road map for a  comprehensive framework for school safety and well-being that details our commitment to safe, equitable and successful schools. To support this commitment, our school system is implementing a series of immediate, short-term and long-term safety and well-being strategies. 

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.

New Color Code System Communicates Closure, Delays or Possible Shifts to a Virtual Learning Day

MCPS improved its process for informing the community when weather requires an operational status change and when a closure might justify a shift to virtual instruction. When it is determined that conditions are unsafe for students and staff, we have six operational status options, which will be reported by easy-to-understand, color-coded messages. Learn more


Ongoing Important Work

In this section, I share how our school system has been working tirelessly to combat the effects of racism within our educational institutions. Because of our commitment and due to the many instances demeaning prejudicial student actions involving graffiti and bullying, I took the moment to raise awareness by giving an address and inviting a wide range of community partners. We all shared that this issue required our collective attention and that was and remains an important time to speak out.  

We also began the implementation of the anti-racist action plan, in which we are taking concrete steps towards creating a more inclusive and equitable learning environment for all students. We were also excited to announce the Pathway to College, Career and Community Readiness, which will provide our students and families with the guidance and information necessary to reach success beyond the classroom. 

These actions are ongoing important work and just the beginning of our commitment to building a better future for our students and our community as a whole.

Superintendent’s Message: What will our legacy be?

I invited a range of community partners, county leaders and students to Rockville High School and addressed the history, impact and our moral obligation to act when others demean and choose to act in racist and hateful ways. My challenge then and always is: What are we going to do about it? We are going to “call it out” and work together to remove this impact on our community and the ability to learn at the highest levels.

Speaking Up Against All Hate: Read the transcript and watch the video.


Antiracist Action Plan

Antiracist Action Plan

This Antracist System Action Plan was presented to the Board of Education on May 11, 2023. The plan is designed to address the findings and recommendations from the Antiracist System Audit.

The Antiracist System Action Plan includes action steps and timelines and is organized into three sections:

  • System-level actions

  • Domain-specific actions

  • School-level actions

The plan has been developed to remove the barriers that impact our most marginalized students. It is designed to address the report's recommendation that the successful planning and implementation of a districtwide racial equity vision requires coherence, accountability, equity-centered capacity building, continuous data collection and relational trust.

action plan

Antiracist System Action Plan: pdf
English  / Español / French / አማርኛ / tiếng Việt / Portuguese / 中文 / 한국어

Pathway to Student Success in College, Career and Community Announced
We were excited to introduce the Pathway to Student Success in College, Career and Community initiative. The pathway is an important guide in preparing students for lifelong success. It will empower students by providing essential academic milestones, and it identifies key competencies and experiences students should have to thrive in their academic pursuits, prepare for meaningful careers, and actively engage as responsible citizens within their communities.


Stronger Student Mental Health and Wellness App

MCPS Stronger Student Mental Health and Wellness App Now Available

The free MCPS Stronger Student mobile app is now available via the Apple and Google Play stores. The project was led by students who performed all aspects of design, building and focus grouping for the app. For secondary students, the app provides access to crisis support resources or other mental and physical health/wellness needs, including reporting incidents of discrimination. It is anonymous and confidential.

MCPS Stronger Student Fliers (in multiple languages)

English  /  español  /  中文  /  françaisPortuguês한국어 /  tiếng Việtአማርኛ

A Serious Community Health Issue

The Fentanyl Fight: How We and Our Partners Addressed It

The concerning rise in the dangerous use of illicit fentanyl required our community to come together in response. Informational community forums, community messaging and a significant media event attended by county police partners, health professionals and youth advocates brought this issue to the public's attention. Introducing Narcan into our schools was a crucial step in our fentanyl fight, enabling adults and students to respond swiftly in an emergency. We also announced the availability of the MCPS Stronger Student Mental Health and Wellness App, a valuable resource designed to support students’ mental well-being and provide essential access to crisis resources and information to help understand mental health concerns. This year affirmed my decision to include the School System Medical Officer position as Dr. Patricia Kapunan helped us navigate and communicate the importance of addressing this serious community issue.

County Leaders, Law Enforcement and Advocates to Discuss Rise in Student Opioid Overdose and Deaths

Key leaders in education, law enforcement, health services and drug use prevention advocates gathered on Jan. 19 to discuss an alarming rise in Illegal opioid use, especially fentanyl, in our youth. Data show not only a rise in overdose cases, but also a rise in death rates. These dangerous trends were vital to inform the community. Watch the video.


Opioid and Fentanyl Community Forums 

The rise in opioid drug use brought together important partners, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery Goes Purple and MCPS to host community forums. Families told their stories of fighting the scourge of drugs. These forums became places to connect to services but, more importantly, allowed families to understand they have partners and supporters in the fight against illegal opioids.


MCPS Implements New Regulation Allowing Students to Carry Narcan at School

MCPS announced new guidance for responding to medical emergencies at school in which an individual may be experiencing a suspected opioid overdose. The new regulation includes detailed guidance on naloxone (also known by its brand name, Narcan), its use and access in MCPS schools. Narcan is a potentially life-saving medication that temporarily reverses the effects due to an opioid overdose.


Celebrations and Good News

I am beyond excited to share the abundance of good news regarding the incredible accomplishments of our outstanding students, staff and community partners.


Nearly 12,000 MCPS students received their diplomas commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2023. 

Notable speakers at this year’s ceremonies: Tony Award-winning actor and Thomas S. Wootton High School alumnus Myles Frost addressed graduates at his alma mater; Maryland Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller spoke at Montgomery Blair High School; husband-and wife journalists Peter Baker spoke to graduates of Winston Churchill High School; Northwood High School alumnus and author and television producer George Pelecanos addressed graduates; University of Maryland and former NBA star Walt Williams spoke to Sherwood High School.


Students Taste Testing Innovative Concepts for 2023-2024 School Year Menu

The Division of Food and Nutrition Services hosted its second annual The Taste of MCPS on Feb. 15. Over 100 students in grades 6-11 evaluated innovative concepts and sampled new flavors. Feedback from the students will be incorporated into the menu development process for the 2023-2024 school year.


(Milken Award) Fairland Elementary Teacher Surprised with National Teaching Award

teacher Fairland Elementary School's Dion Joneswas surprised with the prestigious Milken Award, a national teaching honor. This recognition highlights exemplary commitment to education and an ability to inspire and empower young minds.


Champions for Children Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to the recipients of the Champions for Children award winners. These recognitions signify their outstanding contributions to education and their commitment to nurturing the potential of every student they encounter. Shannon McKenzie, child development teacher at Clarksburg High School, was named the 2023–2024 MCPS Teacher of the Year; she will now compete for Maryland Teacher of the Year.

Sami Saeed Elected as Next Student Member of the Board of Education

A junior at Richard Montgomery High School, Sami was elected the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) for the 2023-2024 school year. Mr. Saeed’s term begins on July 1, 2023.



Distinguished Service Awards

We celebrate the recipients of the Distinguished Service Awards, individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and made significant contributions to the MCPS community. Their tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to excellence have undoubtedly had a profound impact on the lives of our students.

Seventeen Students Receive $2,500 National Merit Scholarships

Seventeen MCPS students from seven high schools have been awarded National Merit $2,500 scholarships financed by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The students are among 44 high school seniors in Maryland to be selected in the latest group of National Merit Scholarship Program recipients. The scholars were selected from a pool of more than 15,000 finalists, and will receive a one-time award of $2,500 for post-secondary education.

MCPS Educational Foundation Announces 194 Inaugural Recipients of the Rales-O’Neill $10,000 Scholarship

The MCPS Educational Foundation announced 194 recipients of the 2023 Ruth and Norman Rales-Patricia Baier O’Neill Scholarship Recognizing Academic Excellence. These prestigious scholarships are being provided to high-achieving MCPS graduating seniors across all 25 high schools in Montgomery County. The recipients will each receive $10,000 to help ease the financial burden of attending college.


Thirteen MCPS Students Receive Full-Tuition Posse Scholarships

Thirteen students received full-tuition, four-year college scholarships from the Posse Foundation, which identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential that may have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes.

As we celebrate these outstanding individuals, we commend their remarkable achievements, which inspire us and reinforce our unwavering commitment to providing a nurturing environment where students can thrive and succeed.

For the Summer

As we bid farewell to another successful academic year, it's time to look ahead to the excitement and opportunities that await us in the summer break and the upcoming school year. Students and staff will be busy with our many summer school offerings, student-athletes will be preparing for the beginning of fall sports and, in MCPS, we’ll be preparing for the opening of a brand new school, Cabin Branch Elementary, in Clarksburg.

With sunny days on the horizon, summer is also a time to expand your horizons by engaging in summer activities, from exploring new hobbies and embarking on adventures to spending quality time with family and friends. Meanwhile, our dedicated educators and administrators are diligently preparing for the next school year. 

We eagerly anticipate the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 28, when we will come together once again, ready to embark on another incredible journey of learning, growth and achievement. See you on the first day of school!


Here are some resources to help fill your summer with opportunities, fun and activity.

Support Students in Need / Donate Today to the GIVE BACKPacks Campaign


Save the Date–2023 Back-to-School Fair


Save the Date: The 2023-2024 Back to School Fair will be on Saturday, Aug. 26, again at Westfield Wheaton mall. It will be bigger and better than ever before. Join us!