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. I want to recognize our students and staff who have shared their stories, used their voices and seized this moment to deconstruct institutional racism in our nation. As I shared last week, we must work harder to achieve a better, more equitable and just society for our children, for our families and for ourselves. We cannot stand idly by while members of our communities suffer injustices and live in fear. If we are all in this together, we must all take responsibility and do our part. We pledge to you that we will intensify our commitment to equity and excellence, ensuring MCPS is a school system where all truly means all.
Below are several important updates, including information on summer school, the new grading options tool and the end-of-year closeout process for families.
Thank you for being our partners in this critical work. Be well.
Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Summer School Programs
MCPS will offer a variety of summer learning and enrichment opportunities to elementary and secondary students through regional, school-based and other districtwide programs. We have thousands of staff members who are ready to teach and engage what we anticipate will be a significant number of students through our summer programs.
Over the coming week, MCPS will share more information with principals, teachers and the community about programs and opportunities that will be provided throughout the summer on a rolling basis and we will continue to add additional programs as we receive feedback from the community. Most programs will begin on July 13. The parent survey on summer programs is open until June 12.
High School Summer School
Registration for MCPS Virtual High School Summer School will open on Friday, June 12, for high school credit courses that will begin on July 13 and run through August 14. Students can earn repeat or original credit for high school courses in English, social studies, science, mathematics and art, as well as in technology, computer science and health.
Details about specific course offerings, online course requirements and links to the registration form will be posted on theMCPS Summer School Webpage.
As a result of the revised grading policy in effect this semester, students enrolled in high school courses have the option of a letter grade or Pass/Incomplete for the final semester grade. Students will choose their option using the high school Grading Options Tool, which is now live and accessible through students’ MCPS Google account. Students may select their grading options through June 12. Instructions were emailed to students and sent to parents last week. Detailed instructions, including the use of a grade calculator to help make an informed decision for each course, are found below. Please note that students/parents who want to revisit their choice selections after this window will be able to do so by working with the school counselor within current grade change processes. Students must continue to engage in coursework until the end of the school year.
Instructions for Students/Parents
To submit your grade choices for Semester 2,
- Visit: https://bit.ly/mcpsmd-grade-display-preference
- Use the student’s MCPS Google username (ex., firstname.lastname@example.org) and password to log in.
- Select your choices. Use the Grade Calculator to help you pick the best possible option for each course. Click Submit when you are done.
- After you submit your choices, an email confirmation will be sent to your MCPS Google account for your records.
- Timeline → Between June 4, 2020 and June 12, 2020, students can submit their choices for how to show Semester 2 grades on the report card.
- Daily Limits → Students can update their preferences multiple times throughout the window, but are limited to three attempts/submissions per day.
- Course List → The tool will only show credit-bearing courses for students.
- Default Choice → The default report card display choice will be “Letter” as long as the letter grade improves the overall GPA. Otherwise, “P” will be assigned.
If you have questions about the tool or need help, please refer to the help guide.
End-of-Year Close Out Process for Families
MCPS is coordinating a systemwide effort to provide families with opportunities to retrieve personal belongings from schools. In the coming days, individual schools will share logistics and schedule of times based on student last names. Families can expect the following procedures to be followed:
- All student property will be pre-bagged and labeled. (Name, Grade, Activity, etc.)
- All student belongings have been bagged by classroom staff, administrators and central support staff members
- There will be drive-up and walk-up options at each school.
- Families will be required to stay in their vehicle or the designated area for walkers throughout the process.
- Your child’s belongings will be delivered to your vehicle or to the designated area for walkers. (MCPS staff will be wearing personal protective equipment when delivering items.)
- Once you have retrieved the bagged property, please exit the campus immediately to avoid contact with others.
- The retrieval process will begin the week of June 15 and run through the week of June 29.
We have designed this process for retrieval of your child’s belongings in an effort to service our families, while decreasing the risks to our community. Principals will reach out directly to their school communities to provide details on timing.
Summer Meals Service
MCPS will continue to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner meals at more than 50 sites throughout the county through June 30, 2020. The district is working on a service plan for the summer months. Details will be shared soon.
Summer Chromebook and Mi-Fi Distribution
MCPS will continue daily technology distribution throughout the summer. Students can pick-up Chromebooks and Mi-Fi devices and exchange any non-functioning devices Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 45 W. Gude Drive in Rockville.
Equity Unit, School Psychology Have Resources, Support Available to MCPS Families
To help provide all staff, students and families with timely and relevant supports and resources, the MCPS Equity Initiatives Unit developed a special edition of the EquityMatters! newsletter.
An Educators’ Guide to this Moment begins with three personal pieces, followed by resources and tools divided into four parts:
- Educate Yourself
- Lead with an Anti-Racist Mindset
- Tools for Educators to Engage Students
- Resources for Parents to Talk with Their Children About Racism
The MCPS Division of Psychological Services also has resources available to staff and families for support and understanding. They are listed below.
Understanding Race and Privilege
Talking to Children About Violence
Lesson Plans for Secondary Students
Individual School Virtual Commencement Ceremony Times
In addition to the Universal Virtual Graduation Ceremony that will take place tonight at 6 p.m., each high school will also host a virtual commencement to celebrate its graduating students. You can view the schedule for these ceremonies here.
Eligible High School Graduates Can Take Free Summer Courses at Montgomery College
Montgomery College’s Raptor Ready Program can help 2020 Montgomery County high school graduates get an early introduction to college courses in an online or structured remote environment.
The scholarship program covers tuition and fees for one course (four billed hours maximum) and a grant to cover technology or educational supplies not to exceed $530 for the second summer session at MC, which begins July 11. The program is for spring 2020 Montgomery County high school graduates who are Montgomery County residents (including anticipated June graduates).
More information is available here.
COVID-19 Quarantine Continues to Escalate Risk for Victims of Domestic Violence
The stay-at-home orders that are meant to protect people from COVID-19 are putting victims of domestic violence at greater risk. The Montgomery County Family Justice Center has created an email for people to report domestic abuse or seek assistance. More information is available here.
Montgomery County Surveys Parents About Childcare Needs During COVID-19
Montgomery County’s Early Childhood Coordinating Council wants to hear from Montgomery County parents to learn more about their childcare needs. The information received will be used to make decisions about programs and services provided by the county. Complete the survey here.