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School Community and Wellbeing Committee

Committee Chair: Brandon Best (Ward 6)

Committee Members: Fraizer O’Leary (Ward 4), Robert Henderson (Ward 5), Carlene Reid (Ward 8), China Burgess (Student Representative), Téa Washington (Student Representative), Eboni-Rose Thompson (Ward 7, ex-officio*)


Background/context: The School Community and Wellbeing Committee is focused on three areas of education:

  1. School safety
  2. School facilities (the physical school building)
  3. Student and educator mental health

Overview of Work

This School Community and Wellbeing Committee has three overall goals for 2023:

  1. Define a working definition for “safety” for the committee, relying heavily on student voice in the development process. This definition will be published on this website and help inform how the committee approaches upcoming projects, community outreach, and advocacy.
  2. Publish a State of School Safety and Mental Health Report, which will help to inform future projects for the State Board regarding student safety and mental health. This report will be developed based on in-house research, community outreach, and communication with other education agencies and community-based organizations.
  3. Publish a Healthy Schools Facility Network (HSFN) policy paper that will inform the State Board’s development of a rubric for Pre-K-12 educational facilities standards. The full policy paper will include the following:
  • Examples of standards for buildings and ground’s location, design, condition, and utilization from other jurisdictions
  • A rubric for Pre-K–12 educational facilities standards
  • Scenarios for State Board roles and responsibilities related to educational facilities standards
  • Considerations for the State Education Agency—the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s (OSSE)—roles and responsibilities related to educational facilities standards

Committee Achievements & Milestones

The School Community and Wellbeing Committee was established March 2023 following the passage of SR23-3, On Creation of Committees and Appointments.

Members passed SR22-18, To Approve the NASBE Healthy Schools Facility Network (HSFN) Team Work Plan—which laid the foundations for the HSFN policy paper described above—at the December 21, 2022 Public Meeting. Members also passed SR23-6, On Recommendations Related to Seizure Safe Schools—a resolution raised by School Community and Wellbeing members—at the June 21, 2023 Public Meeting.

Please check back soon as we update this page with School Community and Wellbeing Committee new milestones and achievements for 2023 and 2024.

Upcoming Projects/ Outreach/ Initiatives

Looking ahead, what does the committee hope to work on during the next school year?

In summer 2023, the Committee will reach out to community members—mostly students—to identify a working definition for “safety”. This definition will be posted in late summer on this website.

In fall of 2023, the Committee plans to conduct surveys and focus groups with families, educators, and students on safety issues. In winter 2024, the Committee plans to publish the State of School Safety and Mental Health Report.

The Committee also plans to publish its Healthy Schools Facility Network (HSFN) policy paper in late fall/early winter 2023.

Committee-Related Resources, Articles, and Reports Insert Airtable: Important Upcoming Dates: Please check back for updates to this section.

Getting Involved 

The School Community and Wellbeing Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of each month from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. We encourage DC parents, teachers, students, and other community members to attend our online committee meetings which will be posted in advance on the events page of our website and through OpenDC. They are uploaded afterward to the State Board’s YouTube page.  

The committee also invites anyone who is interested in speaking on these topics to testify at one of the State Board’s monthly Public Meetings. To sign up as a public witness, please notify State Board staff by emailing [email protected] or filling out this sign-up form at least 48 hours before the meeting. Written testimony may be submitted at any time to [email protected]. 

If you are interested in participating in upcoming surveys and/or focus groups, please fill out this form and we will follow-up when we begin community outreach.