MCPS has sent out a message to the community highlighting ten things you need to know for Thursday, January 27th. The full message can be seen below.
Dear MCPS Community,
Here are ten things you need to know for Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. They include next steps following the gun violence at Magruder High School, information about KN-95 masks, a list of schools entering 10-day virtual learning, the expansion of in-school PCR testing, information about the 2022-2023 school calendar and more.
- Safety and security remain our top priority.
On Friday, Jan. 21, there was an incident of gun violence at Magruder High School. We are grateful for the support of the Montgomery County Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue for their quick response and commitment to keep our communities safe.In the months ahead, MCPS leadership will collaborate with school-based staff, students, parents, county officials, community partners, and others to:
- conduct a comprehensive review of all school safety and security practices;
- address ongoing concerns regarding police presence on school campuses;
- provide social-emotional support for students and staff;
- review the staffing of school-based security personnel and emergency response procedures and training;
- implement updated safety and security training for staff;
- and communicate clearly about our ongoing efforts.
MCPS is grateful for the community wide support of students, staff, community members and many key stakeholders who have provided time, talent and critical supports following the incident at Magruder High School.
- Four MCPS schools will enter virtual learning beginning Jan. 29.
After a review of multiple key factors and input from a multi-stakeholder group, four schools, as well as the autism program at Westover Elementary School, will move to virtual learning for 10 calendar days. In the interest of the overall school community’s health and safety, these schools will participate in a period of virtual learning from Jan. 31 through Feb. 9. They will return to in-person learning on Wednesday, Feb. 10.The schools are:
- Harmony Hills ES
- Loiederman MS
- Pine Crest ES
- Wheaton Woods ES
- MCPS is planning for the possibility of virtual learning on days when schools are closed due to inclement weather.
It is important that students experience as little learning disruption as possible, so we are asking for your input to inform our initial planning. Please complete this survey and share your thoughts. We will share more on this in the coming days.Survey: English / español / 中文 / français / Português / 한국어 / tiếng Việt / አማርኛ
- All staff and students will continue to be offered KN95 masks.
KN95 masks for younger children began to arrive at elementary schools this week. MCPS will continue to procure and distribute these masks for the remainder of the school year. We strongly encourage students and staff to wear them when inside MCPS facilities, where masks are required.Masks distributed by MCPS meet KN95 standards for face coverings and are considered acceptable for this use. The masks being distributed by MCPS are constructed well with multiple layers of material, designed for good fit and comfort, and do not present safety/health hazards.
- In-school PCR testing will expand.
One critical mitigation tactic to fight COVID-19 is in-school random PCR testing. MCPS is beginning to use an additional testing vendor. Starting next week, 20/20 Gene Systems will begin testing in at least six of our schools, with plans for further expansion. Because this is a different vendor, parents will need to give consent separately from the permission that was already obtained for our initial vendor, CIAN. Schools using this new vendor will share information about how to consent for testing.Please continue to report all positive test results for students and staff that come from tests not provided by the school system. Any student who tests positive will be required to isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test, or 10 days from the onset of symptoms, whichever is earlier.
- On a case-by-case basis, we will be expanding the availability of quarantine instruction to students who are not in quarantine but have concerns about attending school due to COVID-19.
Families interested in this option should contact their child’s school, and the absences will be excused. This option has been extended through Friday, February 11.
- Spectators will be welcomed back for extracurricular activities in MCPS facilities at 25 percent capacity.
Effective Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022, spectators will be welcomed back to MCPS facilities, at 25 percent capacity, for athletic events and other extracurricular activities. All spectators must continue to wear masks at all times.
- The Montgomery County Board of Education has approved school calendars for the 2022-2023 school year.
For the traditional year calendar, the first day of school will be Monday, Aug. 29, 2022, and the last day of school will be Friday, June 16, 2023. The Traditional School Year Calendar has 182 instructional days.
For the innovative schools calendar, which Arcola and Roscoe R. Nix elementary schools follow, the first day of school will be Wednesday, July 6, 2022, and the last day of school will be Friday June 16, 2023. The Innovative School Year Calendar has 210 instructional days.
- The Board of Education is seeking comments on proposed amendments to a student discipline policy until Feb. 7.
The Board of Education is seeking comments on proposed amendments to Board Policy JGA, Student Discipline, to provide a philosophy of behavior intervention that is rehabilitative, restorative, educational, and implemented fairly and equitably with clear, appropriate, and consistent expectations and consequences to address student behavior in violation of the Student Code of Conduct in MCPS.Learn more and provide your feedback.
- All bus routes have been able to run so far this week.
This week the MCPS Transportation Department has had no unstaffed bus routes. Staff in the MCPS Department of Transportation are continuing to recruit, hire and train bus drivers. Staffing challenges due to COVID-19 are generally on the decline throughout the district.
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