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Due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic MCPS is planning for a Universal Virtual Graduation Celebration for 6 p.m. on June 7. The ceremony can be viewed online at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org, on MCPS TV (Comcast 33 and 34, Verizon 36, RCN 89), on NBC COZI TV (Broadcast Digital 4-2 and on Cable)
Dear seniors, we want you to know that we are here for you and will continue to support you as we navigate through this global health crisis. Please visit this webpage frequently to stay up-to-date on critical announcements and other relevant information.
Montgomery College Offers Free Summer Courses to High School Graduates
The Raptor Ready Scholarship will provide tuition and fees for one course during the second summer session, beginning July 11. The student will also receive coverage for technology or educational supplies. Supplies can only be purchased at a Montgomery College bookstore. The coverage cannot exceed $530. The scholarship was created to ease the transition to virtual college classes. Scholarship spots are limited. Applicants are chosen by order of submission as well as eligibility. As a result, the College advises for students to complete their application as soon as possible. For more information and a list of available courses visit this site.
Celebrating the Class of 2020 and Plans for Commencement
MCPS is proud of the Class of 2020 and all they have accomplished this year. Recently, we surveyed seniors and their families about their preferences for graduation ceremonies. Based on the feedback we received from more than 8,000 students and parents, we have decided to take a hybrid approach to graduation. In early June, we will host a universal virtual graduation for the entire Class of 2020 and their families. We will also hold in-person celebration ceremonies at a later date once public health restrictions on large gatherings have been lifted. We will share details on the virtual commencement celebration in the coming days. Additionally, from May 14 to May 22, we will celebrate our seniors on social media. Students are encouraged to share short videos or photos on Twitter telling us their post-secondary plans—whether they are heading off to college, the military, taking up a trade or apprenticeship, or going straight into the workforce. Staff, parents, guardians and family members are encouraged to share messages and best wishes for seniors through videos or photos. Be sure to use the hashtag #MCPSClassof2020. If you prefer to email a video or photo, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Heading off to college this fall? Do you have questions or concerns about what “heading off to college” means in the face of COVID-19? Watch this video for information and resources.
Students in Gaithersburg High School's senior class posted a video they made reflecting on the changes they have experienced because of closed schools. The key message is that "The Class of 2020 everywhere is standing together."
State Board of Education Waives Several Requirements for Seniors
On April 14, the State Board of Education voted to waive state testing requirements for high school seniors. They also voted to waive the requirements for Student Service Learning (SSL) hours.
Student Service Learning (SSL) Hours
Due to the current state of emergency, the due date for all documentation that qualifies seniors for Certificates of Meritorious Service and middle school students for the Superintendent’s SSL Awards has been extended to April 22, 2020. All SSL forms (MCPS Form 560-51: Student Service Learning Activity Verification form) should be emailed to the SSL Dropbox at email@example.com by April 22, 2020, to be considered for these awards. Any SSL forms that were previously submitted to school SSL coordinators will be entered by April 22, 2020.
Any high school senior who has submitted documentation to show the completion of 240 SSL hours or more by April 22, 2020, will receive the Certificate of Meritorious Service. This award requirement has been prorated to account for the period of time during which schools have been closed. Any middle school student who has submitted documentation to show the completion of the 75-hour SSL graduation requirement by April 22, 2020, will receive the Superintendent’s SSL Award.
We are strongly encouraging our students to put their health and safety first, and we recognize that there are a lot of concerns and anxiety around meeting the SSL graduation requirement, given that students do not have access to SSL opportunities during this time. Considering that this is a public health crisis and Governor Hogan has called for a state of emergency, we are sure that this emergency closure will be taken into consideration. Our state and local school district staff are collaborating on a plan to support students with their service-learning needs, and we will communicate additional updates regarding SSL requirements as they are determined.