MCPS Community Message on Adjusted Mask Policy

Per MCPS:

During its March 8 business meeting, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted to make masks optional in all MCPS schools and facilities. This new guidance goes into effect immediately.

This action follows the state of Maryland’s decision to end its statewide mask mandate in schools and aligns with revised Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines that no longer recommend universal mask-wearing in schools.

To maintain the safety of our staff and students, other COVID-19 mitigation strategies will continue, including in-school rapid and random testing, distribution of take-home test kits, improved HVAC systems and vaccination availability. Mask-wearing in MCPS will become optional indoors, outside and on school buses. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask may continue to do so, and your child may request a mask from their school if they want one.

on or offMasks: On or Off, It is Just Me
While some will welcome the new mask policy, others may worry about the change. There will be students, teachers and administrators who wish to continue to mask in our schools. We must respect that. So, On or Off, It’s Just Me is a reminder that wearing masks may be an individual choice and we must respect each other’s choices.

As a district, we expect our MCPS community to respect individual decisions about mask-wearing at this time. Our staff and students must model kindness, acceptance and inclusivity. MCPS will work with students, staff and families to promote a shared understanding of respecting each individual’s decision as valid.

MCPS will promote acceptance of masking choices by sharing this important message in posters, flyers, video public service announcements, community messages and through social media. Resources will be provided to schools to include in their own communications with students and families.

Parent Resources
Surprise: Students May be Nervous About Ditching the Mask
How to Deal with Bullying Over Face Masks
MCPS Form to Report Bullying and Harassment
MCPS Bullying and Harassment Information

Important Reminder: If you are sick, stay home. Any student or staff member who has COVID-19 like symptoms should remain home. Symptomatic individuals can only return to schools if free from COVID-19 symptoms, including fever of 100.4 or more, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of taste or smell. Use this daily health checklist to help you determine if you are healthy enough to come to school and work.

Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines Remain the Same
Current guidelines governing quarantine and isolation for both students and staff for positive COVID-19 cases have not changed. The policy is  five days if certain health conditions are met. This aligns with the recommendations of the CDC, the Maryland Department of Health and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.
Learn more here https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/quarantine.aspx

Vaccination
As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool to fight COVID-19 and keep our schools safe for all our students. Children ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, you can find out how here https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/Coronavirus/Vaccinations/

Montgomery County Public Schools will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 data from the CDC, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and revisit the issue of masks in school buildings, facilities and on school buses, if needed.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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