MCPS Partners with Common Sense Education to Launch Comprehensive District-Wide Digital Citizenship Program

Generous Grant from Delaney Family Fund Enables Leading Education Nonprofit to Make Digital Citizenship Curriculum and Resources Available to MCPS Students
Common Sense Media
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rockville, MD -- As schools throughout the country observe National Digital Citizenship Week, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) announced today that all middle schools in the district have officially begun to incorporate digital citizenship education into the curriculum. Digital citizenship -- the practice of being safe, smart, and ethical while online -- has become an area of focus for educators and families as the 24/7 digital lifestyle becomes increasingly pervasive at school and home. The curriculum, which covers issues such as privacy, cyberbullying, internet safety, and other digital dilemmas, is being offered thanks to a partnership with Common Sense Education and a generous grant from the Delaney Family Fund. The program will extend to students in all grade levels over the next three years.

"We want to ensure that our students understand how to use technology in a responsible and respectful manner and are smart about how they engage online," stated MCPS Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith. "We look forward to working with Common Sense Education to equip our teachers, students, and families with the resources they need to make informed choices when using technology and social media."

The partnership is being funded by a donor gift from April McClain-Delaney and U.S. Representative John Delaney (D–MD). McClain-Delaney, a communications attorney, serves as Washington director of Common Sense and as a member of the organization's board of directors. The Delaney family has long supported Common Sense in its education outreach and digital literacy efforts, both in Maryland and nationally.

"Technology greatly enhances the lives of kids and families, but with the rise of social media and ever-evolving media apps comes the responsibility of knowing how to use it effectively and appropriately," said McClain-Delaney. "I see this issue both through the lens of my work at Common Sense over the last ten years and from my perspective as a mother of our four daughters raised right here in Montgomery County. John and I believe we should all work towards using media in ways that best leverage learning outcomes while avoiding the digital pitfalls we see every day in the news."

To learn more about Common Sense Education's Digital Citizenship Curriculum and how students, families, and educators will benefit from this partnership, please visit: www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/digital-citizenship

About Montgomery County Public Schools
With more than 159,000 students and 204 schools, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is the largest school district in the state of Maryland and the 17th largest school system in the United States. MCPS is committed to ensuring that every student will have the academic, creative problem-solving, and social-emotional skills they need to be successful in college and career. The district is a 2010 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the highest presidential honor given to American organizations for performance excellence. To learn more about MCPS, visit
www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org.

About Common Sense Education
Common Sense is the nation's leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a powerful voice for kids and families in the 21st century. Within the organization, Common Sense Education provides teachers and schools with free research-based classroom tools to help students harness technology for learning and life. Our K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum and interactive games teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world. Our educational ratings and reviews platform helps educators discover, use, and share high-quality digital products that propel student learning. Common Sense Education works with more than 340,000 teacher members in over 110,000 schools to help ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century. To learn more, visit
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators.

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Press Contacts:
Gboyinde Onijala
Montgomery County Public Schools
301-279-3853

Corbie Kiernan
Common Sense
415-582-6656