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SMOB West County Town Hall Recap

To round out the series of town halls hosted throughout the first semester by Student Member of the Board (SMOB) Nick Asante, the SMOB Cabinet organized an event specifically for students in the Wootton, Churchill, Whitman, BCC, and WJ clusters. All attendees received two student service learning hours, and the town hall was divided into two halves.

During the first portion of the town hall, members of the SMOB Advisory Council were introduced to the purpose and responsibilities of the SMOB and SMOB Cabinet. Then, students were divided into breakout rooms for small group discussions, each of which was facilitated by a SMOB Cabinet member. Students were given the opportunity to voice their opinion on school improvements, virtual learning, and the current reopening plan.

“The town hall was a great environment to learn. I was able to discuss and learn the perspectives of my peers. I participated by sharing the concerns that fellow students and I had, asking questions, and listening to what others had to say,” Jeremy Fredricks, a junior at Churchill High School, said. During the town hall, he noted, students were able to make their voices heard while also hearing from others. “I liked getting to meet new people from different schools in the county and getting to see that we're all in this together because we all had something to say about these issues. We may have disagreed about how to get to the end goal, but we all agreed that we needed to make a change and come together for the greater good.”

Following a short break, event attendees were introduced to the boundary study tool created for the county by WXY Studios due to the remapping of school cluster lines currently being considered. The session began with a short presentation on how the interactive tool works and emphasized the desire that both WXY Studios and the Montgomery County Board of Education had for increased student feedback. While using the tool, schools can be compared based on any one of three “lenses”: the level of building utilization, the diversity of the student body, and the proximity of students to their school.

During the west county Town Hall, members of the SMOB Advisory Council were able to discuss two issues that will likely have an impact on every student in Montgomery County public schools. The event empowered students by allowing them to voice their concerns to Asante, Chiefs of Staff Lexie Cheng and Vicky Kidder, and other members of the SMOB Cabinet who can translate those opinions into countywide change.

Written by Queen Balina

Published by PR Department

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