MCPS: All Schools Scheduled to Reopen on Monday, January 3

by Patrick Herron

Montgomery County Public Schools released the following message on Thursday evening:

Dear MCPS Community,

As we prepare to open schools on Monday, we have four “asks” of our community.  We are committed to serving our students in as safe an environment as possible, but we need your help.  Please do your part.

  • Continue to report positive cases.
    If your child tests positive, please report it to MCPS using this form.  Beginning Monday, January 3, you may call your child’s school if you are not able to submit the information electronically.
  • Get a COVID-19 test prior to returning to school if possible.
    Check with your healthcare provider, local clinic, pharmacy or the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to identify where and how to have your children tested.
  • Keep children home if they have any symptoms of illness and get them tested for COVID-19.
    It’s important that students don’t spread their illness to others. Please keep them home when they are sick and have them tested for COVID-19 as an extra precaution.
  • Say Yes to the Test.
    Parents must give their permission for in-school testing and they can do so by completing this form.  For more details, please visit our “Say Yes to the Test” website.

We recognize that COVID-19 positive cases are rising in Montgomery County and across the country.  The decision to open all schools was made after careful consideration and ongoing collaboration with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  As we work to ensure the safety of our students, staff, family, and community members we are implementing additional mitigation measures in the coming days.

Home rapid test kits for all students and staff
This morning we learned that the Montgomery County Government will be providing at-home rapid test kits for all students and staff over the next two weeks.  All families will be asked to administer the tests to their children and then report any positive test results.  More details about the distribution of these test kits will be provided next week.  

Masks for staff members
All staff members will receive KN-95 masks during the week of January 3.

In-school testing for students continues
We will be increasing the amount of screening tests for students who do not have symptoms and focus on schools with higher rates of cases.  In addition, we will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing in schools for students – rapid testing in school health rooms for students who have symptoms and weekly screening tests for those who do not have symptoms.

Current quarantine guidelines still in effect
In accordance with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and DHHS, MCPS will continue to use the samequarantine guidelines announced in November until further guidance is provided from the Maryland Department of Health. Individuals who test positive will need to continue to isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or 10 days from the date of the positive test for asymptomatic cases.  While the Centers for Disease Control released a media statement earlier this week regarding changes to their isolation and quarantine guidance, MDH has not yet adopted these guidance changes.

Criteria for transitioning to virtual learning
We are continuing to monitor cases on a daily basis.  As we shared earlier, if 5 percent or more of unrelated students/teachers/staff (minimum of 10 of these individuals) tests positive in a 14-day period, a determination will be made as to whether the school should be closed for 14 calendar days and transition to virtual instruction. Please note that the 5 percent threshold does not automatically result in school closure; the primary factor to consider will be the level of the spread of the virus in the school. MCPS central office staff will work with DHHS in making this decision, and parents/guardians at the school will be notified when this occurs.

Thank you for your support as we prepare for the first day of school in 2022!

Montgomery County Public Schools

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1 comment

Angela Basagoitia December 30, 2021 - 9:42 pm

I am very concerned parent. My child is a 9th grader and FULLY vaccinated. He was out of school from December 6, 2021-16th due To a concussion. Out again on 20th Because of a headache because of the concussion21st he had an appointment with Children’s Hospital neurology department that specializes in concussions. Well I am not thankful at all because that was a very stressful time and many things happened during that not Covid related though every single day I got emails from his school that one or two students and every single grade had Covid and also staff members and on the 20th and 21st each day 20 children had Covid. On the 22nd he was in school for a total of four hours maybe and I picked him up because he had a severe headache and I’m glad that I did. I have had many conversations with his pediatrician during this time and he is a very trusted unknown pediatrician in our community and he doesn’t even understand what’s going on so many children are sick with this new strain and up until today I truly admired our governor but it truly saddens me that with all of the cases that just here in Montgomery county And in our school systems have been reported that they’re not closing our schools and that our children are not being taught virtually because not even it’s a matter of just our children but also the staff and everyone that I putting themselves at risk those schools. No one knows the long-term effects that will happen to our children or to the adults in those buildings due to Covid no one not the doctors not the CDC not the governor no one and that the school board so shame on all of those people for not thinking of anything else but keeping the schools all they have to do is do virtual learning again I understand trust me that it’s been tough at tough two years but look at all the problems were having bomb threats shooting threats all these horrible things we had to come together and unite and learn to have compassion for each other understanding yes it’s been a horrible two years for a lot of people but do we want to continue to have all these deaths and all these things that are going on when is enough going to be enough. And the most frightening thing is that the latest and greatest that they’re saying is that if you are fully vaccinated and you have a rapid test done and you are positive with Covid this variant in particular it can show a false negative that’s scary but we’re still sending our children to school to keep affecting you everybody and bringing it home to their families


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