MCPS Elects New Student Member of the Board

On April 20, the results for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Student Member of the Board (SMOB) election came in. Arvin Kim was announced as the 45th SMOB, gaining 58.7% of the vote. 

Currently, Kim is a junior at Walt Whitman High School and has extensive experience working to make Montgomery County the best place it can be. 

Prior to being elected, he served as the Treasurer and Chief of Staff for Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association, Vice President of Montgomery County Junior Counsel, and the Asain American Progressive Student Union. Kim has worked with the Maryland Association of Student Councils, MoCo for Change, MoCo Pride, the SMOB Advisory Cabinet, and interns for the Maryland General Assembly State Senate. Needless to say, Kim was well qualified for the position.

His goals for the county are laid out in a 200-point-plan on his website, falling into six major categories: curriculum, equity, student life, voice, support, and the school facilities. 

As far as the curriculum is concerned, Kim calls for more inclusive and comprehensive courses to be offered. This may be achieved by updating current curricula. The health classes, for example, would be changed to include extended information surrounding mental health, consent, and more relevant information for LGBTQ+ students.  Additionally,  streamlining the process of new course creation would provide students with a more diverse array of class options, allowing them to explore different interests and passions.

Kim is also keen on ensuring that schools provide students with real-world skills and opportunities for career readiness programs similar to those available at Thomas Edison High School. 

In addition to curriculum changes, Kim is determined to make schools a more equitable environment for all students, and he emphasizes the need to close the opportunity gap.

“Our country needs to do more to support students and level the playing field for everyone; because where you come from or what you look like should not determine the quality of your education or the opportunities you have access to,” said Arvin Kim in the official 2022 Meet the Candidates video. “We need to implement universal access to courses using MCPS’s virtual academy to allow students to take any course, regardless of if their school offers it or not, while [still] attending the rest of their day in-person.”

Kim is placing priority on mental health and hopes to hire more school psychologists in the place of SROs (School Resource Officers) in an effort to be more proactive instead of reactive. 

His plans also include weekly “Wellness Wednesdays”, where students would have an opportunity to meet with teachers and catch up on work without new assignments being assigned. 

These are only a few items of concern on Arvin Kim’s extensive plans for the future of Montgomery County. Some of the points not mentioned include more lunch options, school renovations, student-led anti-hate teaching, and much much more.

 “In a county with 160 000 students and 209 schools, we need to serve every cluster, every school, and every student. That’s the MCPS I’m fighting for,” Kim said.