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Culture of Respect

All employees, both school-based and nonschool-based, are essential to a successful learning environment.

The Board of Education, the superintendent and the executive staff, and the organizations representing employees recognize and value the role of all employees as contributors to a learning community which sets high standards of performance for staff and students.

A compact has been written reflecting our commitment to R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Read the Compact Adobe PDF icon square 

What R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Means

Resolving differences

Enhancing collaboration

Supporting our coworkers

Promoting civility

Encouraging creativity

Communicating openly

Team building through trust


The commitment to foster an organizational culture of respect that is embedded throughout the school system is a priority of the employee organizations, the Board of Education, and the superintendent and executive staff.

We are committed to:

  • Trust in each other
  • Use of collaborative and interest-based processes
  • Recognizing the collective bargaining relationships as opportunities to enhance this culture
  • Recognition of every employee's contributions
  • High expectations for all staff and students that are reasonable, clear, and transparent
  • Open, honest contributions without fear of retribution
  • Open and effective communication
  • Respect for various points of view
  • Civility in all of our interactions
  • Team building and working together as teams





Supports and Structures

There is a commitment to fostering and sustaining a culture of respect through supports and structures. In order to be effective, these supports and structures should be embedded throughout the system, visible and accessible to everyone, and seen as fair and equitable.

Supports & Structures Examples
Board of Education policies; Human Relations policies Creating A Positive Work Environment in A Self-renewing Organization 
Professional growth systems Professional development, employee orientation, mentoring, training, recognition, support for new and under-performing employees, and professional development plans
Collaborative processes Labor/management collaboration committees, Councils on Teaching and Learning, principal leadership groups, cross functional teams, advisory committees, and Study Circles  
Diversity training and development initiatives Diversity Training and Development Team  
Continuous improvement processes Baldrige-guided school improvement process 
Communication processes Satisfaction and climate surveys, focus groups, community forums, and various feedback reports
Dispute resolution activities Dispute resolution program  

Expected Behaviors

In an organizational culture of respect, individuals are aware and understand the impact of their behavior and decisions on others. We expect that the actions and behaviors of all individuals and groups are consistent with and reflect this organizational culture.

The actions listed below represent expected behaviors:

  • Model civility in daily interactions
  • Use collaborative and interest-based strategies rather than positional or adversarial approaches
  • Be clear about the level of involvement in the decision making process
  • Seek to solve the problem, not apply blame
  • Utilize active listening skills
  • Encourage creativity and risk-taking
  • Seek and respect the opinion of others
  • Respect the time and the time commitments of others
  • Seek to resolve issues at the level where they occur
  • Seek to understand before making judgments
  •  Acknowledge the professional judgment of individuals in their roles
  • Be aware of non-verbal communication
  • Use power and authority appropriately and positively
  • Be an active and responsible member of the team
  • Be responsible for accepting and giving feedback
  • Provide and receive feedback constructively and respectfully
  • Communicate openly and respectfully

Positive Work Environment

In order to sustain an organizational culture of respect, it is critical that all employees have an awareness, understanding, and tolerance of others' interests, viewpoints, culture, and background. This culture promotes a positive work environment that ensures the success of each employee, high student achievement, and continuous improvement in a self-renewing organization.

How to Make it Real: Examples

Ways to make R.E.S.P.E.C.T. real and create a positive work environment:

Start the day right

  • Say "good morning" to a co-worker.
  • Smile and say something positive to a co-worker when you begin your workday.


  • Say, "I will be happy to find that out."
  • Say, "I can help you with that."

Focus on the "can" and not the "can't"

  • Don't say, "We can't..."
  • Say, "Here's what we can do..." or "Here's how we can handle this..."

Share your trade secrets and skills

  • Teach a co-worker how to do a task.
  • Introduce a co-worker to someone who helps you to do a certain task.

2010 Collaborative Compact for School-Based Staff

In order to better ensure a positive workplace, to promote a vibrant learning environment, and to further student achievement, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP), Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), and Service Employees International Union Local 500 (SEIU Local 500) enter into this Collaborative Compact. The parties to this Compact are committed to creating and maintaining a respectful and productive MCPS workplace at all work sites.

How will the compact be rolled out?

Outlines the purpose of the compact and how it will be rolled out to all MCPS work sites.

How does the collaboration process work?

Process maps on how the process of improving work place culture works.