MCPS’ core purpose is to provide a strong academic program that helps all students to thrive in their futures. During the 2023-2024 school year, MCPS will continue addressing learning disruption and implementing support plans to ensure all students perform on level. The district has developed multi-year plans to ensure all students can access and receive support for any pandemic-related missed content. Guidance, support and professional learning will allow teachers to build a solid foundation focused on missed or condensed instruction. As teachers plan lessons, they will focus on addressing core standards and student needs in alignment with the Pre-K-12 Maryland College and Career Ready Standards (MCCRS) and State Standards.
Time is included in the instructional schedules for intervention and support at the elementary and secondary levels.
The MCPS Mathematics Program is designed to challenge students of all levels. The goal is for students to successfully complete Algebra 1 in Grades 7, 8, or 9, as appropriate, and be prepared for higher-level mathematics in high school, including Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes. Adjustments are being made to the plan to address missed content due to the pandemic. What are the Guiding Principles of the Mathematics Recovery Plan?
To view the plan, please click here.
For the 2023–2024 school year, MCPS will return to pre-pandemic grading policies and procedures outlined in MCPS Regulation IKA-RA, Grading and Reporting.
Best practices include:
MCPS will also return to pre-pandemic expectations for implementation of credit recovery, attendance intervention and grade modification.
Attendance policies are described in MCPS Regulation JEA-RA Student Attendance. This includes the taking, recording and reporting of daily attendance, tardies, excused absences and unexcused absences. For elementary schools, attendance will be taken each day at the beginning of the school day. For secondary schools, attendance is taken each period and calculated to compute a daily attendance code.
Attendance is taken by teachers and recorded in Synergy, the student information system. This data is visible to parents through ParentVUE, the parent portal. When a student is marked absent, an automated ConnectEd call alerts the parent/guardian that the student is absent. This allows for quick intervention and escalation if needed. Daily attendance reports are run at the local school level so that leaders can review attendance patterns and identify students who may need support in attending school regularly. During the first three weeks of school, central office staff will also monitor attendance daily to identify students who have not returned to school and to plan outreach processes to families. A number of student-level and aggregate reports at the school and district level are used to monitor attendance and provide quick
intervention as needed.
The Attendance Monitoring and Interventions Operations Guide provides an explanation of the process coordinated by Student and Family Support and Engagement and the Office of Special Education to provide specific outreach and implement targeted interventions for students with consistent attendance and engagement concerns.
During the 2022-2023 school year, all schools evolved their Student Well-Being Teams to address students who had difficulty attending or engaging with school, students who experienced social-emotional difficulties, and students and families in need of school system and community resources. Key members of the Student Well-Being Teams are school administrators, school counselors, pupil personnel workers (PPWs), social workers, school psychologists, parent community coordinators (PCCs), and Emergent Multilingual Therapeutic Counselors (ETCs). Student Well-Being Teams analyze data, conduct root cause analyses, and implement targeted interventions.
MCPS has created a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) platform in Synergy. The MTSS platform will enable schools, and the district to monitor and evaluate the interventions implemented for students in the areas of social-emotional support, behavioral support, and attendance. Student Well-Being Team members in all 210 schools were trained on the MTSS platform in the fall of 2022. The platform had a soft rollout during the second semester of the
2022-2023 school year. Summer professional learning occurred in advance of a full MTSS platform rollout for the start of the 2023-2024 school year. An operations manual was distributed to schools to ensure consistent implementation of Student Well Being Teams across the district.
Synchronous instruction is provided every day to students in the Virtual Academy. Students are expected to attend class every day. Attendance is taken daily in accordance with MCPS policy and in alignment with in-person instruction. Elementary teachers take attendance once a day in the morning, and secondary teachers take attendance at the beginning of each class period. Secondary period-by-period attendance is aggregated to compute a daily attendance record which is logged in Synergy, the student information system. The Virtual Academy has two well-being teams, one at the elementary level and one at the secondary level. These teams meet weekly and analyze attendance and engagement data on all students. They identify students who need additional outreach and develop processes and plans for supporting students. All PPWs support the students in the Virtual Academy. Because students are still enrolled in their home school, counseling staff at the virtual academy partners with counseling staff at the home school to provide coordinated support and services.
MCPS received meaningful and ongoing stakeholder engagement in the reopening and recovery process, facilitated by the responsible offices. Stakeholder groups include parent and community organizations, employee associations, and school and cross-office staff. Stakeholder groups that provided input on the work in the Fall 2023 reopening plan include:
The MCPS Office of Communications is responsible for developing, administering and monitoring the effectiveness of communications and outreach for the Return to School Plan. The responsible individual for that office is Christopher Cram, Director of Communications. The office can be reached in the following ways:
Schools have a choice in implementing either a one-to-one model or a cart model for student technology. Most of our secondary schools have adopted the one-to-one model, in which students are assigned a Chromebook and case. They will be expected to carry it from school to home each day. This device will be used at school and home to complete instructional tasks.
In the cart model, sets of Chromebooks are kept in each classroom for use during the school day. Most of our elementary schools have adopted this model. Students who attend these schools who need access to a Chromebook at home can check one out at no cost and leave it at home for use during the school year.
MCPS schools expect to be fully in person for the upcoming school year. For students with extenuating circumstances, applying to and attending the Montgomery Virtual Academy is an option, as well as applying for Interim Instructional Services. All students will use Chromebooks as their primary device for instruction. MCPS Google accounts are provided to all staff and students. In addition to online applications and curriculum, MCPS uses the Canvas Learning Management System for teachers to create online course repositories that can include course materials, assignments, discussion threads, quizzes and more. The MCPS network can support all student and staff devices, so instruction and assessment should be seamless.
If a shift to virtual instruction is necessary, all students will have access to a Chromebook at home. The same technology resources, including online subscriptions to Nearpod, PearDeck and Zoom, will be used to ensure a seamless transition to virtual instruction. Canvas will be used as the primary course repository.
During in-person instruction, the Canvas platform can be used by teachers to house course materials, including notes, presentations, videos, assignments, calendars, quizzes and more. These courses may or may not include all classroom work, as teachers are able to use many online and physical resources to prepare high-quality instructional tasks. The Canvas platform is similar to a course folder or binder and is one resource that teachers and students have available to them.
In addition to the technology tools provided to MCPS students, students eligible for special education and related services are provided with low- and/or high-tech assistive technology devices and services as determined by the IEP team.
Your comments and feedback are important and continue to help inform our planning.
Please visit www.mcpssubmitfeedback.org to provide feedback on our reopening plan throughout the year.