MCPS Reopening Guide 2022-2023; Covid-19 Strategy For Upcoming School Year

Per MCPS and Superintendent Dr. Monifa McKnight: The Montgomery County Board of Education and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) are committed to providing students with a world-class education, while also addressing their social, emotional and academic needs. This commitment is shared by teachers, administrators, supporting services staff, parents and the community. This letter presents the 2022-2023 School Year Reopening Guide for Schools.

The health and safety of our students and staff remain a top priority. Although COVID-19 is still with us, MCPS intends to carry out its continued commitment to deliver in-person instruction, five days a week, for all of our students. Our new MCPS medical officer, Dr. Patricia Kapunan, will partner with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services to help implement COVID-19 guidance, with the goal of maintaining in-person learning while promoting the wellness of our entire school community.

What you Need to Know

  • Health and safety measures in our reopening guide have been updated to reflect new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Maryland State Department of Health and the Maryland State Department of Education.

  • A set of core health practices that prevent the spread of infection in schools, such as good handwashing and staying home when sick, are complemented by specific strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

  • Recommendations and requirements for COVID-specific strategies may change during the school year, as COVID-19 science and data trends change.

What has not changed in our COVID-19 strategy?

  • Vaccination: Vaccination remains a critical strategy to protect against severe illness from COVID-19 infection. MCPS continues to strongly encourage eligible individuals to remain up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines and will continue to support access and opportunities for COVID-19 vaccination for our staff and students. At this time, students are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend school. MCPS staff members are currently required to submit proof of vaccination or a medical exemption.

  • Masking: According to the Maryland State Board of Education, masks are no longer mandatory in Maryland public schools and local school districts may decide how to use masks to maintain safe, in-person learning. Masks will be made  available to all staff and students, and supported for individuals who choose to wear a mask at any COVID-19 community risk level.  Masking may be temporarily recommended or required in local outbreaks,  high-risk situations, or, more broadly, when COVID-19 community transmission is high.

What has changed in our COVID-19 strategy?

  • Testing: The CDC no longer recommends routine screening in K-12 schools. MCPS has discontinued weekly school-based PCR screening testing. Rapid testing will still be used for diagnostic testing of students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms during the school day or screening in higher-risk situations like outbreaks or following school breaks.

  • Quarantine: The CDC no longer recommends quarantine of all students or staff identified as close contacts of individuals positive for COVID-19.  Regardless of vaccination status, close contacts may continue in-person learning and will not have to quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic, and other prevention measures can be used to reduce transmission.

As we renew our commitment to another year of quality teaching and learning, we all have the same goal and belief that schools must provide the best opportunity for our students and the future.

As superintendent, I have three priorities:

  • Building and rebuilding trust with students, staff and community

  • Supporting mental health and well-being for students and staff

  • Focusing on equitable teaching and learning

These focus areas are vital as we continue to renew relationships and ensure a targeted education that serves all students. The remainder of the 2022-2023 Reopening Guide to Schools outlines what to expect in other areas of our work, including:

  • Curriculum and instruction, including special education and the Virtual Academy

  • Tutoring and interventions

  • Grading, attendance, engagement and accountability

  • Supports for students, staff and families

  • Community engagement and communications

Working together ensures our students can safely learn and thrive as they return to school. They are supported by the nation’s most talented and dedicated workforce. Our commitments to the entire MCPS community are critical steps to achieving a successful start to the school year for all students.

VISIT THE FALL REOPENING WEBSITE

READ THE REOPENING GUIDE

Sincerely,

Dr. Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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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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