MCPS Community Message: Understanding the Dangers of Marijuana Edibles, Mental Health Awareness Week, Athletic Safety Plan, and More

by Patrick Herron

MCPS sent the following community message on Thursday evening:
Here are eight things to know for Thursday, Sept. 29. They include a follow-up letter from Dr. McKnight on athletics safety, a reminder about Family Physical Education Week, a survey about next year’s school calendar, mental health information and more.

  1. Monitoring for Potential Severe Weather this Weekend
    Weekend weather conditions are being closely monitored. Any decision to cancel weekend activities will be announced by 6 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, October 2, through the MCPS emergency communications network:

There are no changes to Friday activities at this time

2. MCPS Athletics Safety Plan—At Work and Working
In a community letter yesterday, Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight shared her appreciation for the positive community support as the new athletics safety plan was implemented last week. From her letter:
“This past Friday, I saw some good-spirited, high-energy games, where student-athletes competed at a high level and spectators enjoyed watching them. This positive outcome did not happen by accident. Our students called on their peers to uphold good sportsmanship and a respectful environment; staff, parents and volunteers modeled positive behavior and everyone enjoyed a safe and exciting series of athletic events, which are an important part of our school cultures.”
Read the full message.
Read the RAISE report (newsletter) focused on sportsmanship and safety.

3. Understand the Dangers of Edibles
It is important that parents and students understand the dangers of edibles, an ongoing concern in many local communities, including Montgomery County. Edibles are food products infused with marijuana. They are often made to look like candy, but contain dangerous substances, including THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. They can cause serious health problems to children who may ingest them intentionally or unintentionally. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children can experience significant effects from ingesting THC, including intoxication, anxiety/panic, dizziness, poor coordination and excessive sleepiness. If a person is in distress, call 911 immediately. If you suspect your child may be using substances, contact the Montgomery County SASCA unit or call, text or chat 988.
Learn more at this U.S. government website, Just Think Twice

4. Oct. 3-7 is Family Physical Education Week
October is Health Literacy Month, and Oct. 3-7 is Family Physical Education Week. Daily physical activity has many benefits; it can increase energy, focus and readiness to learn, and reduce stress and anxiety. Physical activity benefits all of us, so helping students’ families be active together is one of MCPS’ physical education goals.
Participate together in the October Physical Activity Calendar (See the calendar in English and Spanish).

5. Provide Your Input on the 2023–2024 School Calendar
The process for community input for next year’s school calendar begins now by asking for your input. This survey seeks to gauge the community’s interests as calendar scenarios are developed for the 2023–2024 school year. Staff will present the scenarios at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Share your interests by Thursday, Oct. 13. Access the survey.

6. Be Sure to Tune In to Mental Health Awareness Week, Oct. 10–15
MCPS and the Montgomery County School Psychologists’ Association will host free virtual events Oct. 10–15 to give youth and families the opportunity to hear from mental health experts on issues that are important to them. The weeklong expo will feature daily themes, dynamic speakers and informational videos, as well as two live events: a Waymaking Special on Student Mental Health, and a Resource Fair and Q&A session on Saturday, Oct. 15. Sessions will be available in multiple languages.
Learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week.
See mental health information and resources.

7. Literacy Council Offers Free ESL Classes for MCPS Parents
In collaboration with MCPS, the Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC) is offering free English as a Second Language classes for MCPS parents. Parents with questions regarding class availability and the sign-up process should email Kevin Ralph from LCMC at kevin@lcmcmd.org or call 240-665-0471.

8. SSL Hours Available to Students on Election Day
MCPS supports the Montgomery County Board of Elections by encouraging students to participate in the election process. Students are eligible for Student Service Learning (SSL) hours towards their high school graduation requirement or a stipend (depending on the work).
Learn more about Election Day service opportunities.

Montgomery County Public Schools

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