2020 | Schools

School Notes: MCPS has distributed 1 million free meals to children

Plus: Student school board member election postponed to May; Silver Spring elementary school honored for environmental sustainability education

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MCPS distributes 1 million free meals to students 

In five weeks, MCPS employees have distributed more than 1 million free meals to students while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The school district has been distributing meals to children younger than 18 and students of all ages on weekdays since March 16, sans a brief hiatus for spring break. As of Wednesday, MCPS had distributed 1,142,633 free meals, according to a spokeswoman.

Until this week, MCPS distributed meals each weekday. Now, employees are at more than 40 sites across the county on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Two days’ worth of meals are provided on Wednesdays and meal sites are closed on Thursdays.

Children younger than 18 and MCPS students of any age can visit meal sites between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekdays; student identification is not needed. Each site has both a drive-thru and walk-up format. Children receive breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

A list of sites is available on the MCPS website. 

Student school board member election postponed to May

The election to determine the next student member of the Montgomery County Board of Education has been postponed to May 20.

The election, open to all middle and high school students in MCPS, was originally scheduled for April 22. Students will be able to vote online, according to a message from the school district’s student leadership team.

The candidates are Nick Asante, a junior at Richard Montgomery High School, and Vicky Kidder, a junior at Col. Zadok Magruder High School.

Kidder has been active in student government since middle school, according to her candidate profile. She is the Student Government Association vice president at Magruder this year.

She emphasized the importance of diversity in schools, expanding students’ access to mental health services, providing free ACT and SAT preparatory courses, and reducing the school district’s usage of single-use plastics.

Asante is current student board member Nate Tinbite’s chief of staff and he serves as the student government’s legislative affairs director.

His priorities include mental health support, “overhauling our lunch menu,” providing free feminine hygiene products to students, providing a wider range of history courses and “pushing for the addition of more environmentally friendly measures” in schools.

Silver Spring elementary school honored for environmental sustainability practices

Oakland Terrace Elementary School in Silver Spring was announced this week as a winner of a national Green Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

Green Ribbon Schools are selected for their “promising school sustainability practices and resources that all can employ.” Oakland Terrace was first certified as a Maryland Green School in 2015 and recertified in 2019. It incorporates environmental lessons into daily instruction at every grade level.

The school has a courtyard that includes an outdoor classroom, colonial subsistence garden, pollinator garden, aquatic garden, woodland and sensory garden.

The school also has two rain gardens installed by the Montgomery County Department of the Environment’s Rainscapes for Schools Program. These rain gardens help filter water that washes from playground areas.

New principals appointed for Wilson Wims Elementary and Redland Middle

The Montgomery County school board on Tuesday appointed new principals for Redland Middle School in Derwood and Wilson Wims Elementary School in Clarksburg.

Matthew Niper, who has been employed by MCPS for 17 years, was unanimously appointed to lead Redland Middle School.

Kevin Burns, a 23-year employee of MCPS, was unanimously appointed as principal of Wilson Wims Elementary School.

Burns is currently the principal of Rock Creek Valley Elementary School in Rockville.