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:
Additional Meal Service for Students
We are pleased to share that starting tomorrow, March 19, dinner will be provided at all of our meal sites. Additionally, we continue to add new locations for meal service. Please visit this site to view the most up-to-date list of meal sites. To date, we have provided more than 18,000 meals, and we look forward to continuing to provide nutritious meals to as many children as possible.
School Calendar/Spring Break
After careful consideration, MCPS has decided to keep spring break intact and not use it for make-up days. This closure and the ongoing global crisis is having an impact on many areas, including teaching and learning, standardized test administration, Advanced Placement exams, athletics and art events, among many others. MCPS staff continues to work through these challenges and await further guidance from the state on any changes to the calendar. Additionally, no decisions have been made by the Board of Education on changes to the school year calendar.
Third Marking Period and Continuity of Learning
This two-week closure is being treated as an emergency closure (similar to inclement weather days). This means that teachers are not working and will not be providing new instruction or giving new assignments to students. As we shared last week, learning activities and materials were posted online through myMCPS Classroom for the March 16-27 school closure. MCPS has developed FAQs for students having trouble accessing the materials. For students who are unable to access the internet in their homes, printed packets are available. Schools are communicating directly with the families they serve around opportunities to pick up materials.
The instructional resources and materials are meant for review and to practice information that has already been taught. We encourage families to read, play board games, write in journals, and join in on any other activities you think are appropriate for your child. We will provide additional external online learning experiences and resources, as well as tips and ideas to engage your child on the MCPS website and on our MCPS social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook).
Additionally, as many of you know, the third marking period is scheduled to end on March 27. Given that schools were closed prior to the end of the third marking period, many teachers did not have an opportunity to enter grades or give remaining assignments and quizzes. Therefore, when school resumes, the third marking period will be extended. It is important to note the following:
- No previously assigned work will be due between March 16-27.
- No teacher instruction should take place during this period.
- Teachers will have an opportunity to enter grades when school resumes.
Should school closure be extended longer than two weeks, MCPS is working to develop a long-term learning plan for students and will provide guidance to teachers on grading previous assignments and new learning.
Update from College Board on SAT and AP Administration
The College Board has shared that it has canceled the May 2, 2020, SAT administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled for March 28) are also canceled. Registered students will receive refunds. The College Board is also developing tools to mitigate the impact of school closures on students in the Advanced Placement Program. All AP students and teachers will be able to draw on the free online resources provided to every AP classroom this fall.
More information is available here.
Access to MCPS Facilities
Schools are closed but school administrative offices will be accessible on a limited basis as system needs arise. We will continue to reassess as the situation evolves. As a system, we will continue to ensure continuity of operations. We are following the guidance of state and local officials to transition our central office teams to a more remote-based model of work.
Childcare in School Buildings
MCPS has been informed by the Maryland State Department of Education that no daycare/childcare providers will be allowed to operate in school buildings during our closure to combat COVID-19. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
As of now, all graduations will continue as scheduled. Please know that this is subject to change with any new guidance that may come from the state. Additionally, we continue to hear from high school seniors who want to know if school proms will take place as planned. As of now, proms will take place as scheduled. We will provide an update when we receive further guidance from the state.
Be Well 365: Supporting Our Students
MCPS has also developed resources to support the physical, social and psychological well-being of students during this difficult time. These resources can be found here.
Slowing the spread of COVID-19 requires everyone to do their part. An important piece of this effort is social distancing. This means avoiding gathering in groups; playing contact sports; going to the mall for non-essential shopping trips; and avoiding social visits. We know our students want to connect with their peers, especially in a time of crisis. Regardless of the intent, social gatherings have the potential to increase the spread of COVID-19. We ask that all members of the community follow the guidance that has been provided by the CDC and federal, state and local health officials.
We will continue to use our website, emails, social media platforms and other communication tools to provide you with timely updates. Thank you for your support as we navigate these challenging times. We are in this together.
Montgomery County Public Schools