The Glass Gazette: Back to School Edition


August 2022

Dear Neighbor,

The month of August is a special time for Montgomery County’s students and educators. Parents are getting their children ready and teachers are preparing their classrooms. While the summer fun might be coming to an end, the exciting possibilities about the new school year are just beginning. 

The last couple of years have been difficult, especially as we have dealt with COVID and our efforts to keep teachers and students safe. Our instructors have taken on tremendous responsibilities –– juggling online learning, checking-in on students in a virtual format, and maintaining the health and safety of themselves and their families. The burden has been undeniable. And mirroring a national shortage of educators that has left school systems scrambling to fill positions, Montgomery County Public Schools is facing roughly 500 teacher and support staff vacancies, which is approximately 2% of our school workforce. 

As the product of public schools my entire life, I strongly support public education. Our schools are more than just a place for learning – they also serve as safe havens where young people can get a warm meal and be their true selves.

Even in the face of so much uncertainty, our students and educators have continued to push forward. My hope is that they will enter this new academic year with the support they need to learn and grow. 

Let’s make it a great school year!  


Back to School Giveaway

Students in need of school supplies can get free items on Saturday, Aug. 27 at Fairland Recreational Park. The “Back to School Giveaway”, which will be held rain or shine from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. is open to all families. Among the items to be distributed are backpacks, notebooks and pencils. In addition to the distribution of school supplies, the event will have free sports physical assessments, music, a moon bounce, food and refreshments.

Thank you to CTO Health Services, a behavioral health agency in Silver Spring, for sponsoring the event. For more information about the Back to School Giveaway call 240-455-6584.

Supplies Give Away

Intern Spotlight

This past summer, I’ve had the pleasure of having Noura Oseguera-Arasmou, a rising senior at Paint Branch High School interning in my office. I first met Noura when she spoke at a rally I held in support of Afghan refugees last year. As a member of our Muslim community, whose father and mother immigrated from Mexico and Morocco respectively, she has a unique perspective on the challenges facing new immigrants. 

“Having immigrant parents definitely fuels the work that I do, and working for the County Council has helped me see how policy affects all of our everyday lives,” said Noura. She has served as president of her class for the past three years, is an active member of the county’s student government association, and plans to pursue a career in international relations and public policy. I know Noura has a bright future ahead of her and wish her all the best!

My office offers internships to high school and college students throughout the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Students can expect to gain substantive experience in legislative and constituent service activities. If you know someone who would like to apply, click here for more information.

Intern pictured

MCPS Foundation Backpack Giveaway

On average, over 61,000 Montgomery County Public School students receive free and reduced-price meals. Many families also struggle to afford school supplies for their children. With the generosity of community members, local business and nonprofit organizations, last year the MCPS Foundation provided backpacks and free school supplies for over 18,000 of our students. To find out if your child is eligible for a backpack and school supplies for the upcoming year, check with the school counselor at your school. 

backpack image

Student Service Learning (SSL) Hours

Student Service Learning (SSL) hours provide our middle and high school students with meaningful opportunities to learn by volunteering in their community. A complete list of in-person and virtual service opportunities can be found on the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website: To learn more about the SSL program guidelines, requirements, forms, and deadlines, you can visit the MCPS SSL Hub for Students/Families here. Nonprofit organizations interested in hosting SSL opportunities for students can contact the MCPS SSL office at


Mental Health Resources for Children and Youth

Back-to-school can be a stressful time of year for children. Sometimes it can put additional pressures on already challenging situations for youth and their families. If you know a student or family that needs help, there are a variety of supports available, including these community mental health resources, including EveryMind and the Montgomery County Crisis Center.

Help is available to those who need it.

MCPS mental Health

Elementary School Garden Tour

Just before school ended in June, I toured a brand new community garden at JoAnn Leleck Elementary School in Silver Spring. JoAnn Leleck is a Title I school with close to 90% of the student population qualifying for the free and reduced meals program. Working with Impact Silver Spring, a non-profit organization devoted to bringing nutrition closer to home, I helped establish the garden so that students could learn about urban agriculture and soil biology while also being empowered to combat food insecurity in their community.

When students have access to high quality nutrition, they are more likely to excel in academic settings and lead positive and healthier lives. I am excited to continue working with Impact Silver Spring and MCPS to ensure models like this can be expanded throughout our school system.

Community Garden

Did You Know…?

The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policy-making body in the county and is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student member elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. You can follow their meetings which are webcast live, as well as on Comcast Channel 34 , Verizon FIOS Channel 36, and RCN Channel 89.