Here are eight things to know for Thursday, Sept. 8. They include information about COVID-19, bus route information, availability for free school meals, a request to update your contact information, state-mandated health curriculum, Parent Academy TO GO and good news about an MCPS graduate.
Understand Positive COVID-19 Isolation Guidelines
It remains important that staff and families continue to report positive cases of COVID-19 via this online form. An updated isolation calculator is linked to help you understand when it is OK to return to work or school.
Learn About Updated COVID-19 Boosters
Last Thursday, the CDC endorsed updated COVID-19 booster vaccines. The vaccines are “bivalent” which means they include protection against both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, and currently circulating strains of the Omicron variant (BA-4 and BA-5). Anyone older than 12 who is vaccinated against COVID-19 can receive a booster. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for ages 12 years and older. The Moderna vaccine is authorized for ages 18 years and older. Both booster vaccines must be given after an initial vaccine series, and can be given 8 weeks after the last received dose of vaccine or booster.
Where you can find these vaccines:
The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services is now offering updated bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines . This is now the only booster available for ages 12+ at county-sponsored clinics (including school-based clinics). Appointments are currently recommended. Maryland's Vaccine Locator provides information on pharmacies and other locations offering booster appointments and a helpful FAQ on the new boosters.
New Online Feature Reports Bus Route Delays
Bus delays may occur at the beginning of the school year due to increased traffic, adjustments for student ridership or because a route requires two or more runs to complete. Families can check whether their child’s bus route is running on time or is delayed with a new online tool. Delays are being posted on this website.
Connect-Ed calls will also go out each evening alerting families to whether their student’s route will be uncovered for the next day.
Find Out If School Meals Are Free for Your Child
Families of students who may qualify for free or reduced-price meals can now apply for assistance for school meals. Eligibility is based on family size and gross income. Students in Maryland who qualify for reduced-price meals will receive free breakfast and lunch meals.
Important Note: Per school system policy, no child will ever be denied a meal in an MCPS school and any inability to pay will not result in an alternative meal.
Learn more about the program.
Update Your Contact Information in ParentVUE So You Can Receive Information from MCPS and Your Child's School
All MCPS families are encouraged to sign up for a ParentVUE account and ensure your contact information is up-to-date. ParentVUE, an online parent portal, is the primary way schools share information regarding grades, attendance, scheduling, access to myMCPS Classroom and more. ParentVUE also allows access to Canvas/MyMCPSClassroom, a digital learning platform. Parents and guardians can view instructional information and resources, and get alerts about assignments and grades.
State-Mandated Health Curriculum Updated
The Maryland State Department of Education now requires students in the Class of 2025 and beyond to complete a 1.0 health education course for graduation. Health education content includes data and resources for various populations, including LGBTQ+ community members.
Families may opt out of the family life and human sexuality unit, in compliance with state law. Learn more here: MSDE Health Education Curriculum Framework.
Fall Parent Academy Features Important Information for Families
Families and students can stay engaged throughout the school year with Parent Academy TO GO, a series of webinars for families to watch at home. The webinars are available on the Parent Academy website. Registration is available here.
GOOD NEWS: Walter Johnson High School 2022 Graduate Receives Full Ride Scholarship to Spelman College
Marie Andre (Joyce) Onana Mfege is attending Spelman College this fall and has been recognized as a Dovey Johnson Roundtree Scholar. As a scholar recipient, Joyce is one of twenty who will receive the Dovey Johnson Roundtree Scholarship which includes the cost of tuition, fees, room, and board for the next four years.
Montgomery County Public Schools
Email us: ASKMCPS@mcpsmd.org