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> Youth Development

Working together, we are building an exemplary out-of-school time system where all our children and youth will have safe, fun places to learn so they are successful in school and life.


Laugh. Learn. Achieve.

That winning combination is the way students identify what they can gain by participating in the Excel Beyond the Bell program, which keeps young people involved in constructive activities when school is out. Out-of-school time programs that use positive youth development practices promote social, emotional, intellectual and physical growth. 

In January 2007, Montgomery County leaders learned that several key ingredients to academic, career and community success were missing in out-of-school time for some children and youth in the county.

The Collaboration Council received $100,000 in county funding to serve as the intermediary organization that would create the framework for this system. In March 2008, Excel Beyond the Bell was launched. It is our hope to bring this effective EBB model with proven success to even more school communities in the future.

Convening Partners for Change

  • Partnership Group: Addressing four system-wide goals for communications and advocacy, professional development and quality standards, financing and resources, and information and accountability.
  • Career Pathways for Youth Work Practitioners Committee: Developing a youth workforce development system, including OST worker competencies; training aligning with competencies; high school internships; credit earning courses; and career tracks and compensation.
  • Sustainability and Expansion Workgroup: Creating a strategic plan that identifies the costs and other factors for the overall system infrastructure and the ultimate delivery of services at all middle schools.

Serving Youth

  • Collaborating with the Montgomery County Recreation Department and MCPS, we are building a school-based, out-of-school-time (OST) system with an array of OST programs, hot supper and bus transportation for our students, and free professional development to all youth workers in the following middle schools: Argyle, Clemente, Loiederman, Forest Oak, and Neelsville.
  • The service approach includes 28 weeks of programming for 2 1/2 hours per day, four days per week.
  • Data are collected and analyzed to assess participation; adherence to quality standards, participant satisfaction, and impact on academic success and positive youth development.

For more information about Excel Beyond the Bell, please visit our website at or email

Check out the MCPS-TV Segment on Our New Excel Beyond the Bell Middle School Initiative

What is Excel Beyond the Bell?