Community Update: Sept. 8, 2021

Dear MCPS Community: 

The September 3 communication regarding updated guidance about quarantining students in close contact with an individual who displays COVID-19 symptoms has raised concerns and further questions. I would like to provide additional information about this guidance, as well as share some new information about tools that will help us minimize the number of students who need to quarantine. Attached is a letter from Dr. Travis Gayles, Montgomery County Health Officer. Following are some of the major points regarding our prevention strategies.

Read the full guide here  


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Community Update: Sept. 3, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

I hope that you and your families are well and staying safe. The first week of school has flown by and it has been amazing to hear the excitement and see the joy on students' faces as they have reconnected with their peers and staff. Our school communities are all doing their part to ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff and limit the spread of COVID-19.

Read the full guide here 


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Community Update: August 26, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

Here are 10 things you need to know about the Aug. 24, 2021, Board of Education meeting and the reopening of schools. The first day of school for MCPS students is Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.

Staff, parents and students are invited to submit their favorite first-day-of-school snapshots. After you have snapped moments from the first day, select the best photo and email it to pio@mcpsmd.org. For social media, parents and students can post photos on Twitter using the hashtag#MCPS1stday. The pictures will be posted to an online gallery.

Read the full guide here 

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Community Update: August 13, 2021

2021-2022 Reopening guide 

VISIT THE FALL REOPENING WEBSITE

Dear MCPS Community:

The Montgomery County Board of Education and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) are committed to providing students with the world-class education they deserve, addressing their social, emotional and academic needs. This commitment is shared by teachers, administrators, supporting services staff, parents and the community.

Read the full guide here 

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Community Update: July 28, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

Here are five things you need to know about the July 27 Board of Education meeting and what to expect this fall.

  1. All MCPS students and staff will be required to wear face coverings in school buildings this fall, regardless of vaccination status. This decision aligns with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as local health officials. COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the nation and in Montgomery County, and students under 12 do not have access to vaccines. MCPS must ensure the safety of all students and staff as it prepares for a return to in-person instruction five days a week. Masking requirements will be reviewed regularly and is subject to change as the district reviews guidance from federal, state and local health officials. Face coverings are not required outdoors but are strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals.

Read the full message here    


Community Update: July 19, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

Here are four things you need to know about the July 16 Board of Education meeting and MCPS’ plans for the summer and the 2021-2022 school year.

  1. Mask guidance for the start of the 2021-2022 school year will be shared with the Board of Education and MCPS community on July 27. MCPS is working closely with local and state health officials to determine mask guidance and other health and safety practices that meet the needs of students and staff and ensure safety.

 

Read the full message here   


Community Update: July 1, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

Here are five things you need to know about the June 29 Board of Education meeting and what’s ahead for the MCPS community this summer and fall. 

  1. The 2021-2022 school year will begin on August 30, with all schools returning to in-person instruction at 100 percent capacity five days a week. Watch this video to learn more about the fall 2021 vision for schools.

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Community Update: June 14, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

Here are five things you need to know about the June 10 Board of Education meeting and what the 2021-2022 school year will look like for students and staff:

  1. All MCPS schools will be open at 100 percent capacity for five-day-a-week learning for all students this fall. Schools will return to their pre-COVID schedules, including bell times, bus schedules, number and length of class periods per day, lunch and recess.

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Community Update: May 25, 2021

Here are five important things you need to know about the May 25 Board of Education meeting and what’s ahead for the district:

  1. Schools will be open for traditional, in-person learning for students and staff in the 2021-2022 school year. The school year will be more than the 180 days required by the Maryland State Department of Education and students and staff will be expected to attend school in person, five days a week. Students will receive in-person instruction from their teachers five days a week. MCPS will share a detailed fall reopening plan with the Board of Education and MCPS community in June 2021. We are excited to welcome back all students and staff for in-person learning this fall.

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Community Update: May 19, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

On May 18, 2021, the Montgomery County Board of Health voted to approve new health guidelines that lift capacity restrictions and relax some mask-wearing requirements for county residents. The new guidelines are in effect through May 28, 2021, when the county’s Board of Health regulation expires. Here are four things you need to know about what these changes mean for MCPS.

  1. MCPS high schools will increase the number of tickets each senior will be allocated for graduation ceremonies. The increase at each school will be based on the size of the graduating class and the facility capacity of each outdoor school stadium. Schools will communicate with families directly about the number of tickets available for their specific ceremony.

Read the full message here


Community Update: May 12, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

Here are five important things you need to know about the May 11 Board of Education meeting, the MCPS recovery plan and what’s ahead:

  1. MCPS will provide an in-person, five-day-a-week schedule for students in the fall. We are committed to a full reopening in the fall. This has been shared with the community in a number of recent updates. Students will be expected to attend school in person, five days a week (unless they are accepted into the Virtual Academy.

Read the full message here 


Community Update: April 29, 2021

Dear MCPS Community:

We want to provide you with important updates on our recovery efforts, plans for the fall and guidelines related to quarantine and isolation for students and staff. Here are six things you should know as we head into the weekend and the final weeks of the 2020-2021 school year:

  1. Wednesdays will remain virtual learning days for all students. The Board of Education asked MCPS to look into the possibility of using Wednesdays, which are currently virtual learning days for all students, as in-person learning days. After careful review and consideration, the superintendent has determined that Wednesdays will remain virtual due to the significant impact the proposed change would have

Read the full message here 


Community Update: April 20, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

Read this important community update for 6 things you need to know about the April 20 Board meeting, MCPS’ reopening plan and what’s ahead:

Read the full message here 


Community Update: March 24, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

Here are five important things you need to know about the March 23 Board of Education discussion on MCPS’ reopening plan and what’s ahead:

  1. The Board voted to speed up the current timeline for the return of student groups. Students in Phase II Groups 2.1 and 2.2 will begin their phased return to school buildings by April 19. Group 2.2 was originally scheduled to begin their return on April 26.

Read the full message here 


Community Update: March 12, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

During the March 11 Board of Education meeting, MCPS staff shared additional details and answered questions about the reopening plan and what in-person experiences will look like for students and staff. Here are important things you need to know about the discussion and MCPS’ recovery plan:

  1. The Board is considering options that will allow MCPS to speed up the current timeline for the return of student groups. If the March 15 return of students is successful, MCPS is proposing that groups 2.1 and 2.2 be combined and both groups start a phased-return by April 19., The Board will discuss and vote on this proposal at its March 23 meeting.

Read the full message here


Community Update: March 8, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students:

As students and staff return to in-person instruction, it is important to clarify the expectations regarding travel during the pandemic. Together, we all share an interest in and responsibility for keeping our schools and offices as safe and healthy as possible for all staff and students. 

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) discourage nonessential travel, asking residents to travel only for essential or emergency reasons, and to restrict or delay travel for tourism or vacation purposes.

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Community Update: Feb. 24, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students:

During the February 23 Board of Education meeting, MCPS staff shared more information about the return-to-school plan. Here are five things you should know about the plan: 

 

  1.  The timeline and groups of students that will return has not changed. The Board discussed potentially reviewing and accelerating the timeline for return at their March 23 meeting. See the images below for a snapshot on where we are in the timeline and the groups/dates for return..."

 

Read the full message here  


Community Update: Feb. 9, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students:

Today, February 9, 2021, the Board of Education voted to begin the safe return to in-person learning on March 1, 2021, starting with students in specific special education and Career and Technical Education programs. Additionally, the Board approved the phased return of students to in-person instruction beginning March 15, 2021, as recommended by the superintendent. The Board also voted to adjust the 2020-2021 school calendar to make March 8 a non-instructional day for staff to finish the preparation of buildings and participate in professional development before students return.

Read the full message here  


Community Update: Feb. 5, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students:

What’s Ahead

On Feb. 9, MCPS will share more information with the Board on the plan for students’ return, including an outline of what parents, students and staff can expect for in-person and virtual learning experiences and a timeline. The Board will consider a timeline for the return to in-person learning. The Board also will consider adjusting the school calendar to make March 8 a non-instructional day in order for staff to finish the preparation of buildings and participate in professional development before students return.  

Read the full message here  

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Community Update: Jan. 29, 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students:

The Board of Education met yesterday (Jan. 28) to discuss MCPS’ plan for the return of  students to in-person learning. MCPS staff provided an update on current health conditions in the county, vaccination plans for MCPS staff and ongoing work to ensure school buildings are ready for the return of students and staff. No action was planned or taken regarding the reopening of schools at this meeting.

Read the full message here 

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Community Update: Jan. 12, 2021

Dear Parents, Staff and Students:

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, the Board of Education voted to delay the start of returning small groups of students for in-person instruction from February 1, 2021 to March 15, 2021, on the condition that health metrics are met or health guidance is adjusted as a result of vaccine distribution. The COVID-19 new case rate and test positivity in the county remain significantly above the thresholds adopted by the county and state.

Read the full message here

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Community Update: Dec. 16, 2020

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members:

Board of Education met yesterday (Dec. 15) to discuss and take action on a plan for the return of students to in-person learning. MCPS staff provided an update on current health conditions in the county, results of the parent preference survey and expectations for the return of students to school buildings.

Read the full message here

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Community Update: Dec. 4, 2020

Dear Parents, Students and Staff,

On December 3, the Board of Education voted to delay its final action on the district’s framework for the return of students to in-person learning to its Dec. 15 meeting. On Nov. 10, the Board tentatively approved the framework that outlines the district’s plan to bring some students back for in-person instruction beginning Jan. 12, 2021, if health metrics are met. MCPS has proposed that the initial return focus on students in specific special education and Career Technology Education (CTE) programsLarger groups of students will begin phasing in on Feb. 1, 2021. The Board has asked MCPS to reevaluate its metrics for reopening, as well as the proposed sequence for students to return. They have asked the district to explore a strategy that prioritizes the return of our youngest learners sooner.

Read the full message here 

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Community Update: Nov. 11, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The Montgomery County Board of Education has  tentatively approved  Montgomery County Public Schools' (MCPS') framework for the phased return of students to in-person learning beginning January 2021. The framework was  presented to the Board of Education on Nov. 6  and outlines the district's plan for a phased-in return to in-person instruction. You can  watch the video of the Nov. 10 discussion here  and view the PowerPoint slides  here .

Read the full message here  

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Community Update: Nov. 6, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

This afternoon (Nov. 6), the Board of Education met to discuss MCPS’ recovery of education plan and considerations for the phased-in return to schools. If you were unable to watch the meeting live, you can watch the presentation here and view the PowerPoint presentation here .

Read the full message here 

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Community Update: Sept. 17, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Montgomery County Public Schools is soliciting feedback from parents, students and staff on a monthly basis as part of ongoing efforts to ensure students, staff and families have the resources and support needed to successfully engage in virtual learning. Please complete this short survey to share your experiences so far during this fall.

Complete the survey


Community Update: August 25, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Students:

Today, August 25, 2020, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted to approve the MCPS Recovery of Education plan for the first semester, which begins August 31. The Board reviewed and discussed key components of the plan, including:

  • Elementary and secondary schedules
  • Attendance and engagement
  • Technology and resources for staff, students and families to support virtual instruction
  • School year calendar
  • Meal service for students
  • Planning time for teachers

[Read the approved Recovery Guide]

Read the full message here

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Community Update: August 17 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

I am writing to provide updates on our planning for the 2020-2021 school year, which will begin on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. On Aug. 6, the Board of Education reviewed a draft plan and voted to approve a virtual-only first semester for the district. Since August 6, we have received feedback from thousands of students, staff, parents and community members. We have used this feedback to begin making adjustments and enhancements to our plan to better meet the needs of our community.

Read the Full Message Here

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Community Update: August 4, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

Today, I am writing to share our updated considerations and planning for the fall. As you know, based on current health conditions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, MCPS will remain in a virtual-only instructional model through the first semester—January 29, 2021; or until state and local health officials determine conditions in our county allow for students to return safely after the first semester. 

Read the Full Message Here

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Community Update: July 21, 2020

MCPS To Provide Virtual-Only Learning for First Semester

Plan to be reassessed in November 2020 for Second Semester

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

I am writing to provide an important update on our Fall 2020 recovery plans. MCPS has been working closely with county and state health officials on the potential reopening of schools. Yesterday (July 20), we received additional guidance from Dr. Travis Gayles, county health officer, in which he shared that “based upon the current state of surveillance and epidemiological data, I would not recommend in-person instruction for students inside school buildings at this time. I recommend investing in a virtual instruction model until, at earliest, the completion of the first quarter in November, with consideration for virtual instruction through the first semester.”

Read the Full Message Here

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Community Update: July 11, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has been actively planning and preparing for the start of the 2020-2021 school year since Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced on May 6 that they would be closing all Maryland school buildings for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. As you can imagine, this work has been challenging and incredibly complex. We have discussed and evaluated several possible models for reopening schools and the truth is, there is no one option that can address all of the instructional, operational and logistical challenges that our school system is faced with. Most importantly, we know all of the options we consider must be examined through the lens of equity and excellence, and ensure the health and safety of our 166,000 students and 24,000 staff members. We are confronted with re-ordering and reimagining every aspect of the school experience for our students. And while it is not what we hoped for or could have ever imagined, we will begin the 2020-2021 school year in an unprecedented way—including new health protocols, physical distancing and more.

Read the Full Message Here

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System Message Archive

Community Update: Includes a Reminder of the Fall 2020 Parent Survey, Summer Meals and more - June 28, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

Tomorrow, June 29, 2020, the Board of Education will continue its discussions on recovery of learning plans for MCPS for the summer and fall. We encourage you to tune in to this important conversation. The meeting, which will begin at 3:30 p.m., will be streamed live on the MCPS website and on MCPS TV (Comcast 34, Verizon 36, RCN 89). The Board will continue the discussion on our reopening efforts at its July 14 business meeting.

Read the Full Message Here

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Community Update: Includes a fall 2020 survey for parents/guardians, information on new per-pupil spending data, and much more - June 21, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

Happy Father's Day! We want to thank all of our MCPS fathers for all you do for the children and youth in our community. You are appreciated.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recently released an updated version of  Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for Education . The updated plan specifies what school districts must have in place for the reopening of schools and presents a number of strategies and considerations for school systems.

Read the Full Message Here

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Community Update: Important information on plans for the 2020-2021 school year, summer enrichment programs and more - June 14, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

Tomorrow, June 15, 2020, is the last day of school for the 2019-2020 school year. What a year it has been. While the last three months have been very different and unbelievably difficult, our community has accomplished amazing things. Thank you for your tremendous work, collaboration, flexibility and commitment to learning.

Read the Full Message Here

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All In: Class of 2020 Shares Reflections on Challenging School Year

Dear Class of 2020,

Congratulations! During this week of virtual graduations, I want to wish each of you the very best now and in the future. I graduated from high school 45 years ago this week in a little town in Eastern Washington State. It’s cliché to say, but I do not know where the time has gone.

Read the Full Post Here

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Community Update: Information on Summer School Options, Grading Options and more: June 7, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

In light of the national conversation on racism and injustice, our focus as a school system this past week has been on supporting the social-emotional well-being of our students and staff. These tragedies are a reminder that we must work every day to build safe, welcoming, inclusive and supportive school environments where all MCPS students can reach their full potential.

Read the Message Here

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Community Update: Information on the District's Recovery Plan, Summer School and the Districtwide Boundary Analysis: May 31, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

I hope that you and your families are healthy and well. The end of the 2019-2020 school year is fast approaching and we are looking forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our students, including the Class of 2020, during the Universal Graduation Celebration on Sunday, June 7, featuring Jose Andres, chef, humanitarian and founder of World Central Kitchen as the commencement speaker.

Read the Message Here

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Community Update: Information on Virtual Commencements, Grading and Reporting, Summer School and more: May 23, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

We hope that you are well and are staying safe. Like many of us, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the constant news coverage of COVID-19 and its impact on our economy, our way of life, and our educational systems that were designed for face-to-face instruction and interaction. As we all seek to find the good, reframe our thinking and adapt to a new normal, I am reminded of this quote by Fred Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” We have many helpers in our MCPS community.

Read the Message Here

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Superintendent's Blog-All In: Meeting the Needs of Special Education Students in a Remote Learning Environment-May 20, 2020

In this week’s blog post, Dr. Smith has a discussion with five special education teachers who shared insights about their work and the innovative efforts they are making to meet the needs of students.

Read the Full Post Here

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Community Message Update-Phase III of Online Learning, the MCPS Operating Budget, Kindergarten Orientation and more-May 17, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

It is hard to believe that we have less than a month left of the 2019-2020 school year. We have spent eight weeks engaged in virtual learning and, while we have faced many challenges along the way, our students, staff and community have demonstrated tremendous resiliency and patience from the beginning and have actively sought ways to uplift and support one another. I am truly inspired by all of your efforts.

Read the Full Post Here

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Community Message Update-Grading and Reporting for Marking Period 4-May 12, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff:

Based on the extraordinary circumstances associated with COVID-19 and the transition to remote learning in MCPS, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted today (May 12) to suspend its current grading policy and replace it with a temporary grading system for elementary, middle and high school students.

Read the Full Post Here

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Community Message Update-Phase III of Online Learning, Recovery Plans and Celebrations for the Class of 2020-May 10, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Community Members,

On Wednesday, May 6, Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that all Maryland schools would remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Although our school buildings will remain closed, online learning in MCPS will continue until June 15, our last day of school. Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education states, “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of education more dramatically than any other phenomenon in the history of our school system.

Read the Full Post Here

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Community Message Update-Schools to Remain Closed for the Remainder of the School Year-May 6, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Community Members,

Today (May 6), Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that Maryland public schools will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. We strongly believe this is the right decision for the safety and well-being of Maryland students and their families. While this news is not unexpected, it doesn’t diminish the sadness and disappointment that many of us are feeling because we won’t be together in schools to learn and work together; participate in athletic and arts events; and attend end-of-the-year celebrations and graduations.

Read the Full Post Here

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Community Message Update-Marking Period 4 Grading Concepts-May 5, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Community Members,

Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Board of Education will discuss and take action on a grading and reporting plan for secondary students. The plan will address the calculation of the overall semester grade, Grade Point Average (GPA), and how final grades will be reported on transcripts. The meeting, which will begin at 11 a.m., will be broadcast live on the MCPS website and on MCPS-TV. Please tune in for this important discussion. We also will provide an update to the community once the Board takes final action.

Read the Full Post Here

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Community Message Update-Marking Period 4 Grading, Monitoring Student Engagement and More-May 3, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Community Members,

Thank you for your support as we continue our transition to the 4th Marking Period and Phase II (April 20–May 15) of online learning in Montgomery County Public Schools. While we have encountered and addressed many challenges along the way, we continue to see so many of our staff doing innovative, engaging and inspiring things through our online platforms.

Read the Full Post Here

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Superintendent's Blog-All In: The Importance of Camaraderie and Teamwork on Behalf of Students-May 1, 2020

These last few weeks have been intentionally isolating given Governor Hogan’s stay-at-home order to combat the spread of COVID-19. This isolation has been particularly hard for our students and educators, who typically spend the majority of their days engaging face-to-face in the classroom. However, many have found new and innovative ways to come together to support one another during these difficult times.

Read the Full Post Here

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Community Message Update-Grading and Reporting, Report Cards, Enrollment and More-April 26, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Community Members,

As we prepare to start another week of online learning in MCPS, I continue to be amazed by the strength, resilience and creativity of our students and staff. They are persevering through this incredibly challenging time and doing their best to teach, learn and establish new routines. I am proud of the ways our students are stepping up to support each other and helping the most vulnerable in our community.

Read the Full Post Here

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All In: With Kindness, Compassion and a Gentle Approach

Read the latest edition of the Superintendent's All In Blog, It begins...

I get a lot of emails. Hundreds on most days and sometimes, two or three times that many. Some of them are logistical; some are informational; and others are personal. Many messages come and go out of my email box, but some stick with me and change the way I view a situation or relate to others. These are the messages that really matter.

Read the Full Post Here and See Video Comments from Board Members

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NEW: April 19, Community Message-Updates About the School Calendar and Online Learning

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Community Members,

On Friday, April 17, Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that Maryland public schools would remain closed until May 15, 2020. This extended closure helps ensure the safety and well-being of students, staff and members of the community.
Even though our buildings will be closed for at least another month, we are prepared to support students through our online learning model and meal service program.

Read the full message here

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members,

Today (April 17), Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that Maryland public schools will be closed until May 15. While we are sad and frustrated that our students and staff won’t be able to be together in schools to learn and work together in person for another month, we believe that this was the right decision for the health and safety of our students and community.
We know that the announcement of the extended closure raises many questions for our parents, students and staff—from plans for the continuation of online learning to the school calendar and graduation. This weekend, we will send messages to the
community that will begin to address many of these questions and concerns. We encourage you to visit our coronavirus webpage frequently and sign up to receive important alerts through the Alert Montgomery system.
Please continue to stay safe and take care of one another.
Sincerely,

Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools


New MCPS Meal Service Schedule and Instructional Materials for Students, April 15, 2020

Beginning April 20, 2020, MCPS will ;adjust its meal service program from operating five days a week to a four-day-per-week schedule. This adjustment is being made in an effort to ensure student and staff safety, and to reduce opportunities for the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Meal sites will operate as normal on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, MCPS will provide two days’ worth of meals. On Thursdays, all meal sites will be closed. Meals will be provided from 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Additionally, MCPS will distribute printed instructional materials at meal sites every Wednesday beginning April 22, 2020. These packets will provide mathematics and literacy content for elementary and secondary students.

Special note: This Friday, April 17, families can pick up math packets for prekindergarten and elementary students at all meal sites between 11 a.m.–1 p.m. If you are not able to come on April 17, packets will also be available for pick up during the same hours on Wednesday, April 22.

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Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members: April 9, 2020

We have completed the second week of online learning and it has been amazing to see and hear about the various ways staff and students are reconnecting, and how teachers are delivering instruction. From creative rap songs to engaging math lessons, we are working together as a community to create meaningful learning experiences for our students.

Read the full message here


Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members: April 7, 2020

his week, due to the upcoming spring break, MCPS will provide free breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for all Montgomery County children and MCPS students (regardless of age) today, April 7 and Wednesday, April 8. There will be no meal service Thursday, April 9, through Monday, April 13. On Wednesday, April 8, families will be provided with an additional meal bag for Thursday, April 9. The additional meal bag will include items for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will be available at all meal sites. The meals are not shelf-stable and will need to be refrigerated. MCPS meal service will resume on Tuesday, April 14. For a complete list of meal sites, please visit the MCPS Meals Service webpage.

Read the full message here


Dear MCPS Community: April 6, 2020

We are writing to share that two Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) food and nutrition services staff members working at the Glen Haven Elementary School meal distribution site have reported positive tests of Covid-19. The last date the employees worked at the Glen Haven distribution site was on Thursday, March 26, 2020, and neither employee was symptomatic at that time. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, we have asked other employees who worked alongside the affected staff members to self-quarantine for 14 days since their last contact with them. In addition, we are sharing this with all community members so anyone who visited the school prior to March 26, 2020, can self-monitor for symptoms

Read the full message here


Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members: April 6, 2020

Whether in-person or online, MCPS is committed to providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for students and staff. This week, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) launched phase one of its Continuity of Learning plan, which ensures students can continue to learn while school buildings are closed. As you know, the plan includes the use of web-based tools that allow students to learn and collaborate with their peers and teachers. While these new tools provide new opportunities to learn, we are mindful of the risks to student privacy. Below is information on the policies, protocols and digital security measures MCPS has established to protect student privacy online.

Read the full message here


Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members: April 3, 2020

We have completed the first week of our new online learning model and, while we truly miss seeing all of our students in our buildings and classrooms, we know that the opportunities they had to connect with their peers and teachers this week brought some comfort and reassurance.

Read the full message here


Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members: April 1, 2020

This week, we began the first phase of our online learning plan, which addresses the academic and social-emotional needs of our 166,000 students. Thank you for your patience as we work through this new model and staff and students begin to teach and learn in new ways.

Read the full message here


Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members: March 30

Today, Monday, March 30, Governor Larry Hogan issued a Stay-at-Home Order to combat the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). While the order prohibits Maryland residents from making trips considered non-essential (see the Executive Order), it does allow community members to continue to travel to our schools to pick up meals and instructional resources for online learning. Meal service will continue as scheduled this week at multiple sites. Additionally, MCPS will continue to provide supports and services to address the social-emotional, psychological and physical well-being of our students and staff

Read the full message here


All In: Doing the Best We Can For Our Students and Each Other: March 29

On Monday March 30, we will start doing school in a totally different way. We are a face-to-face organization that has incorporated digital tools into teaching and learning to varying degrees and in a variety of different ways over the past decade. But, we have depended on the fact that thousands of students will walk into schools and classrooms each day and interact with adults and with one another. All of that has changed until at least April 24.

Read Full Email Message »

Dear Parents of Prekindergarten, Head Start, Pre-K Plus, and Special Education Prekindergarten Students: March 29

In order to accommodate prekindergarten students developmentally, distance learning will include paper activities to be done at home. A process will be developed to distribute the materials. Teachers will support these activities during live and recorded online lessons and will reinforce them during office hours. Teacher-led online learning activities will be no longer than 30 minutes, primarily focused on read-alouds and activities supporting mathematics and early literacy.

Read the full message here


Continuity of Learning in MCPS: Getting Started: March 27

On Monday, March 30, we are launching the first phase of our online learning plan. While our school buildings remain closed until April 24, our staff has been working hard for weeks to develop continuity of learning (remote/distance learning) plans that address the academic and non-academic needs of our students. Rolling out a remote learning plan in a system as large as MCPS will take coordination, collaboration, training and practice. Staff and students are being asked to teach and learn in new and unfamiliar ways. We must be patient with each other and understand that the system won’t be perfect and we will need to adjust as we go.

Read the full message here


Important Update for Parents/Guardians of Students with Individualized Education Programs or Section 504 Plans, March 27

We know that families of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) have many questions. Throughout the last few weeks, the Office of Special Education, the Resolution and Compliance Unit, and the Office of the General Counsel have been collaborating with local and state education agencies to determine a thoughtful, measured approach to implement the continuity of learning. As the instructional environment shifts from in-person to online, students and teachers will need time to adjust.

Read the full message here


Changes to the School Calendar and Information on Phase One of Remote Learning in MCPS

In this message are some important updates regarding the 2019-2020 school year calendar and the first phase of our continuity of learning plan. Rolling out a remote learning plan in a district as large as MCPS will undoubtedly take a significant amount of training and coordination. We have some of the best teachers, support staff and administrators in the nation and they are up to the task. We are confident that instruction in our new model will be delivered successfully and effectively.

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Extended Closure Until April 24 and Laptop Distribution for Students Beginning Thursday, March 26

Due to the extended closure of schools until April 24, MCPS is providing laptops to students in need to ensure they can access instruction from home. Laptop distribution will begin Thursday, March 26. Devices are in limited supply and are reserved for students who do not have access to a computer or laptop at home.

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View Distribution Dates and Locations


NEW MCPS Community Message: All In This Together - March 22, 2020

It’s Sunday, March 22, and we are a little more than a week into this new world we are in. With all but a few states having closed all schools, we are experiencing a cataclysmic shift in how schools, communities and our society function. And the fact is, we do not know what’s going to happen or how it’s going to happen. We do not know how this will unfold. What we do know is that we are all in this together and we are better together.

Read full message here


NEW MCPS Community Message: March 20, 2020

As we complete the first week of the state-mandated COVID-19 (coronavirus) emergency school closure, I hope you and your family are well and staying healthy. I know how incredibly difficult it is to find ways to establish new routines while navigating through the uncertainty of this challenging and rapidly evolving health crisis. 

We are hearing from many members of the community who have questions about services and resources for students and families; instruction and learning for our students; and the school calendar. We will provide answers to those questions as soon as possible through our community messages and on our website.

Read full message here


MCPS Meal Distribution Expanded Significantly-March 20, 2020

Dear MCPS Community,

Meal distribution for children 18 years old and younger and all MCPS students will begin today at Brown Station and Greencastle elementary schools from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Additionally, MCPS school buses will distribute meals today at the following locations: (please note the times).

  • 11 a.m., Great Seneca Creek Elementary School
  • 11:30 a.m., Climbing Ivy Drive at the common area
  • 12 p.m., Sweetgum Circle in Germantown
  • 12:30 p.m., Lullaby Road and Lullaby Court at the common area
  • 1 p.m., Waterford Hills Blvd. and Carlow Point Circle
  • 11 a.m., White Oak Shopping Center
  • 11:30 a.m., Francis Scott Key Middle School
  • 12 p.m., Hillandale Shopping Center
  • 12:30 p.m., Mt. Pisgah Lane and Hampshire Green Lane
  • 1 p.m., Forest Park Apartments

Additionally, MCPS is collaborating with Manna Food and will distribute weekend backpack food sacks throughout the county today at Damascus High School, Quince Orchard High School, Col. Zadok Magruder High School, Brown Station Elementary School, Clopper Mill Elementary School and S. Christa McAuliffe Elementary School. Distribution will take place from 10 a.m.- noon.


Community Message: Coronavirus Update-March 18, 2020

Dear MCPS Community,

We hope that you and your families are safe and well. At this time, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) remains closed until March 27, 2020, as part of a statewide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Guidance from federal, state and local officials continues to indicate that school systems around the nation may be faced with an extended closure. While we do not know whether schools in Maryland will be closed longer than two weeks, MCPS staff continue to work on planning for long-term continuity of learning. Below are important updates for the community based on the information we have today, March 18::

Read the full message


Community Message: Coronavirus Update-March 15, 2020

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) continues to work closely with county agencies and community partners to navigate this dynamic situation and provide critical supports and resources for our community. As a reminder, the district will begin providing free meals to all school-aged children (18 years old and younger) tomorrow, Monday, March 16 at 20 locations. The meals, which will be provided in a Grab-and-Go format will be available from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The locations are as follows:

Read the full message


Community Message: Coronavirus Update-March 13, 2020

MCPS staff has been working diligently for several weeks to prepare for a closure such as this. Please know that this is a rapidly evolving situation that impacts many areas, including spring break, standardized test administration, Advanced Placement exams, and sporting events, among many others. Our staff will continue to work through these challenges and will provide details and decisions as soon as information is available. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Read the full message


Important Community Update: MCPS Schools to Close March 16-27

Together, we are facing a significant health crisis in our county, state and nation. In light of the new guidance and decisions made by Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon today, March 12, all Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will close beginning Monday, March 16 and will remain closed through Friday, March 27. All school-sponsored activities, events, field trips and athletic events are also cancelled. Our administrative offices will remain open. Health officials have determined that school closures are a necessary and effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Read the full message


Message to the MCPS Community March 11, 2020

As the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) grows in the Washington area, MCPS remains committed to providing all families, staff and students with timely and accurate information, resources and updates about the coronavirus and how it affects our community and school operations.
Our schools remain open and instruction will continue as usual. As a reminder, decisions about school closures during a public health crisis are made by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. If a decision is made to close schools, it would be shared with the community-at-large as soon as we are made aware.

Read the full message here

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Board of Education Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Committee Meeting March 11, 2020

This meeting discusses the latest updates to the MCPS response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


Deputy Superintendent Monifa McKnight Addresses Coronavirus at the Board of Education Meeting, March 10, 2020


Community Message and Update, March 9, 2020

As we shared in a letter on March 5, 2020, the first three cases of COVID-19 were identified in the state of Maryland and the patients reside in Montgomery County. Please read the county press release for more information. Two additional Maryland cases were identified on March 8. Of the two new cases, one of the patients resides in Montgomery County. County health officials continue to share with the district that they believe there is a low health risk for our schools and have determined that schools should remain open as normal at this time and instruction should continue as usual.

Read the full message here

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Important Update: March 6, 2020 - Dr. Travis Gayles, Montgomery County Dept. of Health and Human Services Update


Important Update: March 5, 2020 - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Cases in Montgomery County

Tonight, we learned that the first 3 cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) that were identified in the state of Maryland are from Montgomery County. The patients are identified as a married couple in their 70s and an individual in their 50s. They contracted the virus while traveling overseas. State officials have shared that they do not believe these individuals have had contact with MCPS students. As you know, we have been preparing for this situation through our interagency coordination with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. At this time, we are following guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services and our schools will remain open. As we move forward, we are preparing for the possibility of school closures in the future should this become necessary. We encourage all MCPS families to remain vigilant through this situation and consult your health provider if you are experiencing symptoms that you may believe are related to the coronavirus. We will continue to provide updates as this situation develops.

Read the full press release

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Superintendent's Monthly Press Briefing 3/5/2020

Message to the Community: March 4, 2020:

The Montgomery County Council received a briefing from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security on the County’s coronavirus preparedness efforts. The Council received up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and discussed the County’s efforts to ensure the health and safety of all residents. MCPS leadership and other community partners and stakeholders participated in this important discussion. We encourage all members of our community to watch the briefing and read the key documents that were shared at the briefing.

Read full message here

Montgomery County Council and Montgomery County Dept. of Health and Human Services Briefing 3/3/2020


Message to the Community: Feb. 28, 2020:

MCPS is committed to the health and safety of our students. In the last 48 hours, we’ve heard from several communities seeking information about the Coronavirus. At this time, there are no reports of Coronavirus in our community. The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has also informed us that to date, no cases have been confirmed in Maryland and there is no reason from a clinical standpoint to be alarmed.

Read full message here


Message to the Community: February 26, 2020:

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management are closely monitoring the incidence of the Coronavirus in the U.S. DHHS has informed the district that to date, no cases have been confirmed in Maryland and there is no reason from a clinical standpoint to be alarmed.

Montgomery County Public Schools is committed to the health and safety of our students and is working with DHHS and other county agencies to monitor the situation. MCPS will be prepared to implement public health recommendations as required. Updated information will be shared with the community and posted on this webpage as it becomes available

Read full English message here

Estimados Padres y Guardianes,

Les escribimos para brindarles una actualización sobre el coronavirus y los esfuerzos del distrito para garantizar la salud y la seguridad de todos los estudiantes en nuestros edificios. El 25 de febrero de 2020, los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC por sus siglas en inglés) emitieron una actualización en la que declararon que, a pesar de que se detecta el coronavirus en los Estados Unidos, el virus no se está propagando por todo el país. CDC informa que el riesgo para el público estadounidense en general sigue siendo bajo. El Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos del Condado de Montgomery (Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services–DHHS por sus siglas en inglés) nos ha informado además que, hasta la fecha, no ha habido casos confirmados en Maryland, y desde un punto de vista clínico no hay razón de alarma.

Las Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Montgomery (MCPS por sus siglas en inglés) están trabajando estrechamente con DHHS y otras agencias del condado para monitorear la situación y desarrollar un plan de salud pública coordinado e integral para garantizar que estemos preparados si surgen casos en nuestra comunidad. MCPS estará preparado para implementar recomendaciones de salud pública según sea necesario. Se compartirá información actualizada con la comunidad en este sitio de Internet cuando esté disponible.

Como una buena práctica para resguardar la salud en general durante la temporada de resfríos y gripe, CDC recomienda que las personas se vacunen contra la gripe y que, para evitar la propagación de gérmenes y enfermedades, practiquen medidas preventivas todos los días, tales como:

  • Lavarse las manos con frecuencia, usando jabón y agua tibia por lo menos durante 20 segundos. Si no hubiese agua y jabón, se debe usar un desinfectante de manos que contenga alcohol.
  • Evitar tocarse los ojos, la boca y la nariz si las manos no están lavadas.
  • Evitar el contacto estrecho con personas que estén enfermas.
  • Quedarse en casa si está enfermo. CDC recomienda que las personas permanezcan en casa por lo menos 24 horas después de haber tenido fiebre o síntomas de fiebre (o sea, escalofríos, sentirse acalorado, apariencia ruborizada).
  • Cubrirse al toser o estornudar en un pañuelo desechable e inmediatamente colocarlo en la basura.
  • Limpiar y desinfectar frecuentemente los objetos y superficies que se toquen.
  • Tomar cualquier medicamento antivírico recetado siguiendo las indicaciones de la receta.

Información adicional para los EE. UU. Está disponible en el sitio web de CDC.

Atentamente,
Montgomery County Public Schools


School Updates

Dear Frost Families:
I have heard from several parents seeking information about the cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our county. As MCPS shared in a letter on March 5, 2020, the first three cases of COVID-19 were identified in the state of Maryland, and that the patients reside in Montgomery County. Last night, Maryland public health officials shared that one of the individuals who tested positive attended an event at The Village, a retirement home in Rockville, between noon and 6 p.m. on Friday, February 28. Health officials have asked that people who attended this specific event should monitor for symptoms and contact Maryland Emergency Management Agency call center at 410-517-3720. Please read the County release for more information.
MCPS leadership spoke directly with officials from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and they have shared that individuals from our school community who visited the facility days after the Feb. 28 event are not at risk of contracting the virus.  
While there is no specific concern for these students, all of our families should remain vigilant with their health and follow the CDC guidelines and best practices. More information about COVID-19, including the CDC guidelines, is available on the MCPS coronavirus webpage
Ensuring a safe and welcoming learning environment for our students is paramount. Have a great weekend. 
Sincerely,
Dr. Joey Jones
Principal
Robert Frost Middle School

Dear Parents and Guardians:

We have been made aware of a fake news story circulating through the community on social media suggesting a Richard Montgomery High School student has contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19). This news story is false. We are deeply disappointed that someone would create and distribute misinformation about such an important issue.

Any information about confirmed cases of COVID-19 affecting our county or community would come directly from state and county health officials and MCPS leadership. You can find more information about COVID-19, including FAQs and other resources, on the MCPS  website.

The health and safety of our school and students is our top priority.

Thank you,
Damon Monteleone
Principal, Richard Montgomery High School

Dear Wootton Families:

I have heard from several parents seeking information about the cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our county. As MCPS shared in a letter on March 5, 2020, the first three cases of COVID-19 were identified in the state of Maryland, and that the patients reside in Montgomery County. Last night, Maryland public health officials shared that one of the individuals who tested positive attended an event at The Village, a retirement home in Rockville, between noon and 6 p.m. on Friday, February 28. Health officials have asked that people who attended this specific event should monitor for symptoms and contact Maryland Emergency Management Agency call center at 410-517-3720. Please read the County release for more information.

MCPS leadership spoke directly with officials from the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and they have shared that individuals from our school community who may have visited the facility days after the Feb. 28 event are not at risk of contracting the virus.

While there is no specific concern for these students, all of our families should remain vigilant with their health and follow the CDC guidelines and best practices. More information about COVID-19, including the CDC guidelines, is available on the MCPS coronavirus webpage.

Ensuring a safe and welcoming learning environment for our students is paramount. Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,
Kimberly Boldon
Principal
Thomas S. Wootton High School