2020-2021 School Year Begins Virtually for MCPS Students and Staff

August 31, 2020

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) welcomes nearly 163,000 students today (August 31) for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. MCPS is beginning the school year in a virtual-only instructional model as outlined in the Fall 2020 Recovery Plan. The plan provides robust and flexible virtual learning opportunities for students as the school system does its part to combat the spread of COVID-19.

MCPS is also welcoming more than 800 new teachers, more than 100 new supporting services professionals and 22 new principals this school year. 

Since the spring, MCPS has distributed more than 167,000 Chromebooks and thousands of wireless hotspot devices to families to ensure students have the needed technology and access to successfully engage in virtual learning. More than 22,000 devices have been distributed to staff. Technology and learning materials distribution will continue through the fall. MCPS is also providing breakfast and lunch meals at 74 sites to all students enrolled in the system. Over the summer, MCPS provided more than 4 million meals to Montgomery County children and youth. 

To ensure staff readiness for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, MCPS provided hundreds of hours of virtual trainings on a number of critical topics, including:

  • Technology

  • Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

  • Pedagogy

  • Social-Emotional Well-Being and Coaching for Engagement/Success

  • Accessibility Tools for Instruction and Home

  • Equity

  • Health and Safety

  • Onboarding, Induction, Mentoring, Communication and Collaboration

The professional learning opportunities are grounded in equity and social-emotional learning to ensure that equitable environments are established in the virtual and traditional learning spaces. Professional learning opportunities will be offered to staff throughout the year.

A series of technology webinars were also offered to MCPS families to help parents learn about the new parent portal (ParentVUE) and other digital tools their children will be using this fall. To date, more than 20,000 MCPS parents have participated in the sessions. As MCPS continues to navigate through the pandemic, families and students can stay engaged throughout the school year with Parent Academy TO GO, a series of virtual webinars for families to watch at home.

The district is working with county health officials on a process that will allow MCPS to safely begin to bring small groups of students back into school buildings, such as students in specific special education programs. The Board of Education will meet in the coming weeks to continue discussing the plan for the 2020-2021 school year. 

To stay up-to-date on the district’s recovery efforts, visit:


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