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Inclement Weather Virtual Learning

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) continues to improve its process for informing the community when weather requires an operational status change and if any closure might justify a shift to virtual instruction. Our six operational status options are detailed in our Emergency Information. It is important that students experience as few learning disruptions as possible. For that reason, MCPS will consider a transition to virtual learning when schools are closed due to inclement weather utilizing the following guidelines. These are days when the district would otherwise determine that a system closure would be needed for safety reasons.


Considerations for Virtual Learning

On inclement weather days, there are various options for the school system’s operating status, including closure and virtual. If the decision is Code Purple then we will move to Virtual Learning.

Transitioning to virtual learning is considered when:

  • The impacting event is predictable
  • The impacting event is part of a multi-day scenario (blizzard etc.), or
  • Prior preparation and communication with families, students, and staff has taken place


If a virtual synchronous instruction day is possible, we know communication is vital to ensuring that students, staff, and families can easily transition. We will follow these steps to let you know:

  • Provide a “Get Ready” announcement (weather is imminent)
  • Decide and share decision to offer virtual learning by noon the day before to give time
  • Ensure student Well-Being Teams contact identified students and families as a reminder about virtual start times
  • Remind families that it remains a required school day and how to log in to classes

More Information: Watch for the notice of a move to virtual learning by staying connected to MCPS. We communicate these messages in the following ways:

  • MCPS website
  • ConnectED for system emails and text messages
  • Alert MCPS/MCPS Alerta countywide emergency texting system
  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) in English and Spanish
  • Local news media
  • MCPS–TV (Comcast 34, Verizon 36 and RCN 89) and
  • Recorded phone line (301-279-3673)

Individual schools may communicate specific information about their class schedules and specific programs.


Important notes: 

  • In order to allow time for students and staff to adjust, log in and access resources on an inclement weather virtual learning day, all instruction will begin two hours later than the school's normal bell schedule.
  • There will be a minimum of four hours of synchronous instruction.




Attendance:Teachers will take attendance as they would on an in-person day. Students who are unable to connect will receive an excused absence, and given an opportunity to make up work.