What MCPS wants you know to about schools reopening

Heather Jauquet

MCPS shares commitment and priorities with community

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Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) will welcome nearly 160,000 students back to schools for the 2021-2022 school year. They are committed to keeping schools open and staff and students safe. Interim Superintendent Dr. Monifa B. McKnight and Montgomery County Board of Education president Brenda Wolff share MCPS’ commitment and priority in a letter and video shared with the community.

Here are the Top 10 things MCPS wants you to know:

Health and safety are a top priority.

MCPS is implementing a multi-layer health and safety protocol including masks wearing, enhanced sanitation, improved ventilation, and random testing for students in pre-kindergarten through Grade 6, contact tracing, and quarantine. In addition, teachers show proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing.

Back to School Nights will be hosted virtually.

In an abundance of caution and to limit the number of people in a building, Back to School Nights will be hosted virtually by each school. Contact your school for your Back to School Night schedule.

COVID-19 screening testing is provided for students in Pre-kindergarten through Grade 6

Prekindergarten through Grade 6 will participate in random COVID-19 screening. Parents will need to “opt-in” and provide consent for students. The opt-in form is necessary to allow your child to be a part of this testing process can be found here.

Testing will begin the week of September 13. MCPS is asking families to complete the consent form by September 8. Any forms completed after September 8 will be added to the screening test program as they are processed.

Schools will maximize available indoor and outdoor spaces for lunch.

Each school designed a plan to maximize lunch space using a mix of indoor and outdoor seating.

September assessments

Students and teachers will begin the school year gathering baseline data to develop plans to keep students moving forward in their learning.

MCPS will minimize disruption when students are in isolation or quarantine, following the Maryland Department of Health guidelines.

Contact your schools on how students will be able to maintain their learning.

Student Well-Being Teams will remain in place

The Well-Being Teams support students in reducing learning barriers, conducting outreach to families, supporting students’ mental health needs, and connecting with other students.

MCPS will host COVID-19 vaccination clinics for staff and students aged 12 and older

You do not need an appointment to attend the following vaccination clinics.

September 1, 9am-6pm, Shady Grove Bus Depot—16651 Crabbs Branch Way in Rockville.

September 4, 10am-4pm, at Watkins Mill High School, 10301 Apple Ridge Road in Gaithersburg.

Everyone entering an MCPS facility will be required to wear a face-covering regardless of vaccination status.

Students and staff will wear masks on school buses and while inside MCPS buildings and facilities.

MCPS will not close school buildings and move to entirely virtual instruction for all students unless state government officials order the school system to do so.

If the Maryland government orders reduced capacity in school buildings, MCPS is developing a plan for hybrid instruction on some days and virtual teaching on other days.

Are you ready for the beginning of the school year? How do you feel about school opening five days a week at full capacity? Let me know in the comments!

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Certified educator K-12 and Reading Specialist with a focus on the adolescent brain. I write about how educational decisions affect parents, students, and staff. As an educator and parent I also focus on community events for the whole family.

MD
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