MCPS Community Message: A New Beginning / A Letter from Superintendent Dr. McKnight

MCPS superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight has shared the following letter with the community regarding the start of the 2022-2023 school year:

“Dear MCPS Staff, Students and Community Members:

Each July ushers in an exciting new beginning for our school system. We take advantage of the summer months to launch new opportunities and programs and to carefully plan for how to make progress on our priorities in the year ahead.

We’re hard at work even during the summer. Our two innovative calendar schools, Roscoe R. Nix and Arcola elementaries, began their school year today, July 6; the students at these schools benefit from an additional 30 school days of learning and enrichment. Thousands more students continue learning in our summer programs. We have many staff members beginning new journeys leading and supporting schools and students in critical new roles. And the priorities funded through our Fiscal Year 2023 operating budget now begin.

These efforts all play a critical role in advancing the Board of Education’s strategic plan and my aligned priorities:

  • building and rebuilding trust,
  • supporting health and social-emotional well-being, and
  • refocusing on equitable teaching and learning.

Enhancements
Making our shared priorities a reality for students, staff and programs is possible because of our community’s steadfast investment. And our 2022-2023 operating budget, which takes effect this month, is helping us do so by bringing vital resources to our schools:

  • A full-time staff development teacher in every school
  • A full-time reading specialist in every elementary school
  • Critical staffing in support of new schools and additional school space
  • A welcome center for newcomer students to MCPS
  • Expanded early childhood learning opportunities
  • Strengthened career pathways for employees
  • Expanded mental health and wellness resources for students and staff

New Opportunities to Learn
Just as we invest money into our schools, I urge us to invest time to become aware of  the world in which our students live and learn. Two great resources to gain insight into our students’ lives have recently become available:

  • Ken Burns’ “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness” is a documentary that follows adolescents’ struggles with mental health, reminding us of its complex and often invisible scourge
  • Student journalists from 15 MCPS high schools have published The Amplifier, a magazine that elegantly captures the student day in the era of the pandemic, shedding light on what goes on in school hallways, at lunch and outside of the school day

These resources are important because our students need our immediate attention. We must have deep relationships and check in to ensure they are well and making sound decisions. Just this past weekend, we experienced the untimely deaths of two of our students. This loss impacts our families, our schools and our staff, and we must ensure as a community we are ready to support each other to proactively prevent tragedy and respond when it does occur. I offer my deepest sympathy to those two families.

Our Continued Partnership
Throughout my professional career and personal life, I have been constantly reminded: Home is where the heart is. I feel lucky to call MCPS my professional home, to serve as our district’s superintendent, and to be part of a family committed to student learning.

My time in our system has taught me that progress requires shared effort and shared achievement. For us to be successful, to serve our students and community as we wish to do, requires an intentional effort—it takes investment. And it takes teamwork.

I am committed to continue to listen, to collaborate and to hear your priorities and your feedback. As I discuss in this video, one opportunity to offer your perspective is in this survey in which we ask you to share your ideas about our district’s strengths, opportunities, and priorities.Thank you for your ongoing support of our school system.

Through the summer and beyond, I look forward to working to improve our school system so that we provide our students, families, community members and staff with every opportunity that you deserve.

Sincerely,

Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools“

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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