Here are seven things to know for Thursday, March 17. They include important COVID-19 reminders, information about mental health and crisis resources, a reminder to complete the Antiracist Audit survey, Prekindergarten and Head Start registration, information about the upcoming RespectFest event and opportunities for activities available during upcoming out-of-school time.
Remain Vigilant: The COVID-19 Pandemic is Not Over
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies Montgomery County as low in terms of community level of COVID-19. This is due to high levels of vaccination, testing and other mitigation efforts in schools and across the county. The numbers of positive cases have dropped regularly over the past few weeks since the COVID-19 Omicron variant surge. Despite this, we must remain vigilant as the pandemic is not over.
COVID-19 Testing and Vaccinations Remain Important
Vaccinations: Individuals 5 and older are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. They are free, safe and readily available. The vaccine is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and to keep COVID-19 from surging in the community. Learn more.
Testing in Schools: MCPS has in-school random testing for asymptomatic students and rapid testing for students who show symptoms. Parents must give permission for this testing by completing this form. Learn more about in-school COVID-19 testing.
Testing at Home: MCPS continues to distribute rapid COVID-19 test kits to all students and staff every three weeks through March. The next distribution is planned for the week of March 21. To help you use the tests correctly and to know when to use them, we provide the following resources:
Learn more at this website and review the flyers:
(Reminder: these are nasal (nose) rapid test kits; please refer to the directions included in the kits prior to use.)
Masks have been optional in MCPS schools and facilities since March 8. It is understandable that some welcome the new mask policy, while others continue to worry about this change. On or Off, It’s Just Me is a reminder that wearing masks is an individual choice and we must respect each other's choices.
MCPS promotes acceptance of masking choices by promoting this message through posters, flyers and other important resources.
Complete the Antiracist Audit Survey by March 31
We encourage you to fill out the survey, which is open until March 31. You can use your mobile device or computer. Learn more about the MCPS Antiracist Audit here. The survey is anonymous and available in seven languages.
Family letter in all languages
Prekindergarten/Head Start Registration Now Open
Registration is open for Prekindergarten and Head Start for the 2022-2023 school year. Children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2022, and families must be income-eligible to apply. Families can register their children online. Additionally, weekday and weekend locations are open through March 31 for families that want to register in person. For more information about eligibility guidelines, required documents and how to register, call 240-740-4530 or visit the MCPS website.
RespectFest to Discuss Teen Dating Violence and Prevention
Choose Respect Montgomery's annual event, RespectFest, will hold a week of online activities from March 21-27, culminating in an in-person event from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 27 at the Wheaton Community Recreation Center. Students and parents will learn about dating violence and prevention. Students can earn Student Service Learning hours. Learn more
Mental Health and Crisis Support Resources Online
MCPS has direct online information and links to support students and families seeking mental health and crisis support resources. Every school has a student support team that includes a counselor, a school psychologist, a pupil personnel worker and a school nurse.
Are You Looking for Things to Do When School is Not in Session?
MCPS has gathered a list of in-person, live and on-demand opportunities that are available to elementary and secondary students on days when school is not in session.
Some of these activities are not affiliated with MCPS. If you are interested in any of those programs offered, please contact those organizations directly.
Email us: ASKMCPS@mcpsmd.org