elementary school student on computer at home

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 on:

    • academic interventions and supports for students
    • special education meetings and supports
    • ongoing individual and standardized testing
    • staff planning time

    Additionally, while MCPS will continue to use A/B rotations for the remainder of the school year, some schools may need to adjust their plans and schedules to serve students with exceptional needs. Principals have the flexibility to make these adjustments, which may include bringing in students who may have been on an A/B rotation every week for individualized appointments, interventions, tutoring and more.

  2. MCPS is updating its quarantine and isolation guidelines for students and staff. In alignment with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from state and local officials, MCPS has updated its guidelines related to quarantine and isolation, effective immediately. Previously, MCPS required individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 to isolate for 14 days. The required isolation period is now 10 days. Additionally, the required quarantine period is also now reduced to 10 days (under certain circumstances). More information is available here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/reopening/#Isolation.

  3. MCPS will provide an in-person, five-day week schedule for students in the fall. On April 27, the Maryland State Board of Education passed a resolution stating that schools should be open in-person for the required 180 days of instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. As we have shared in recent updates, staff are doing the critical work for a successful reopening in the fall. In the coming months, MCPS will finalize a detailed fall reopening plan and present it to the Board of Education and MCPS community. This plan will also include more information on the MCPS Virtual Academy, a full-time virtual learning program for students in Prekindergarten to Grade 12. Virtual learning has worked well for a number of students and families. The Virtual Academy will be a centrally managed program and will partner with students’ home schools to provide the academic and social-emotional support students need to thrive in virtual instruction. Be sure to complete the interest survey by May 1. Your responses will help MCPS plan for virtual learning. This is not a commitment to attend the Virtual Academy and does not guarantee admission; it is intended to gauge family interest. More information on how to apply for the Virtual Academy will be shared soon. There will be specific criteria for admission.
  4. Mask mandates remain in place in Montgomery County. While Governor Larry Hogan announced on April 28 that masks and face coverings are no longer required outdoors, County Executive Marc Elrich announced that the county will not follow the state’s revised mandate immediately. At this time, face coverings are still required in all MCPS buildings and facilities and outdoors while on MCPS property. More information on the county’s face covering guidelines can be found here: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/face-coverings.html

  5. Summer programs registration begins May 3. Summer programs are an important part of the district’s efforts to address learning loss and provide access to fun and engaging programs.Programs for elementary and middle school students will focus on mathematics and literacy, specials and enrichment, and preparing for the next grade level. At the high school level, there will be opportunities to earn credits in all subject areas required for graduation, for both repeat and original credit, as well as non-credit options in local schools. Programs will:

    • Be offered at no cost to all students, with transportation available
    • Be offered in all local schools/clusters
    • Have all-virtual and in-person options

    Depending on the program, registration will be in ParentVUE or through your local school. High school programs will begin Monday, June 28 and elementary and middle school programs will begin Tuesday, July 6. More information is available here. If you need help activating your ParentVUE account, contact the Community Support Hotline at 240-740-7020 or email communitytechsupport@mcpsmd.org.

  6. The county has approved MCPS’ waiver for outdoor graduation ceremonies and Senior Unity days. Graduating students will be allowed to have two guests join them at ceremonies. Additionally, high schools have been cleared to finalize planning for Senior Unity Day events that would occur outdoors at our high school stadiums and campuses. The events will feature creative ways for students to engage with their peers, while maintaining appropriate social distancing and safety protocols. 

Email us: ASKMCPS@mcpsmd.org

Montgomery County Public Schools