MCPS follows the recommendations and guidance of DHHS and School Health Services regarding the need to isolate and quarantine students due to a positive COVID test or exposure.
Following CDC guidelines, MCPS staff work with classroom and school staff to gather information, including seating charts, classroom activities, lunch and recess contacts, and identifies close contacts who need to quarantine.
A letter is sent to all families of students who are required to quarantine and provides information on monitoring for symptoms, when to seek medical care, who to contact if they test positive or develop symptoms during quarantine, the length of quarantine and return date, free testing and vaccination sites in the county, and information regarding further contact by the Department of Health.
Consistent with CDC and Department of Health guidelines, MCPS has adopted a number of modified quarantine options to reduce the amount of time students are required to quarantine. The modified options include: Test to Stay, Weekly Screening Testing, and Correct and Consistent Use of Well-Fitting Masks (when combined with Weekly Screening Testing). Following a high-risk or staff exposure, unvaccinated students may reduce the length of quarantine by testing on day 5, if negative the student may return after day 7 of quarantine.
Schools will communicate directly with families about the process for accessing quarantine instruction. Teachers will communicate in advance of quarantine the method the student will use to access instruction, including relevant links. Teachers will communicate with students the times they will connect for check-ins. All necessary class materials will be posted in Canvas.
Each school identifies available staff to support instruction. At the elementary level, this includes Reading Specialists, Staff Development Teachers, paraeducators, classroom teachers, administrators, and others. At the secondary level, content teachers support instruction.
All schools have established rotating staff schedules to ensure all instructional blocks are covered throughout the day. Elementary schools have the option of utilizing a cluster model in which staff may support students from multiple schools.
At the elementary level, students who are quarantining as well as students being kept home by families due to COVID concerns may access Quarantine On Demand Instruction. These on demand screencast lessons include literacy and mathematics work aligned to the district curriculum.
Schools ensure that students with service plans are identified for staff supporting quarantine instruction. Through the cluster model at elementary, service needs are identified when students are added to the quarantine student list.
Isolation and quarantine timelines for staff have been reduced from 10-days to 5-days as long as the staff members have improving symptoms. This allows teachers to return to their classrooms and provide direct instruction to their assigned students.
MCPS will continue to monitor community transmission, vaccination and booster rates for students 5-18, and other transmission factors to evaluate our quarantine procedures. At this time due to increasing COVID-19 rates in Montgomery County, we are remaining with a 10-day isolation period for students who have tested positive for COVID-19. Unvaccinated close contacts may reduce their quarantine period using modified quarantine procedures.