In the community message releases today by MCPS Superintendent Monifa McKnight, MCPS touches on measures it will take in order to protect students, teachers, staff and the community.
Dear MCPS Community:
The Montgomery County Board of Education and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) are committed to providing students with the world-class education they deserve, addressing their social, emotional and academic needs. This commitment is shared by teachers, administrators, supporting services staff, parents and the community.
The health and safety of our students and staff must remain a priority. Although COVID-19 remains with us, MCPS intends to carry out its commitment to deliver in-person instruction, five days a week, for all of our students. We have developed a plan to ensure a safe return to school and will continue to be proactive in the face of continuously changing circumstances. The success of this plan also depends on individual actions, so we strongly encourage every person who is able to be vaccinated to do so before the start of the school year.
We have faced unprecedented challenges the past school year, but we are more determined than ever to provide our students with a high-quality education in a safe environment. We commit to the following measures in order to protect our students, teachers, staff and the community:
- Require that face masks be worn in all school buildings, buses and MCPS facilities, regardless of vaccination status
- Require that employees submit proof of vaccination or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing
- Encourage the use of outdoor spaces for unmasked educational, recreational and social experiences for our students
- Facilitate continuity of educational services for students who are unable to attend in-person instruction due to the need to quarantine
- Provide opportunities for individuals to engage in proactive preventative measures, such as frequent hand-washing
- Remind students and staff that they must stay home when experiencing any possible symptoms of COVID-19
- Ensure school facilities will be regularly sanitized, equipped with cleaning supplies, and ventilation and air quality monitored
- Provide in-school COVID-19 pool testing for random samples of students in prekindergarten through 6th grade, since students younger than 12 are not eligible to receive the vaccine
- Communicate clearly, concisely and in a timely manner with families and staff as information becomes available
- Respond to changing conditions so that our students will not experience major disruptions in their education
By working together, we can ensure our students can safely learn and thrive as they return to school. They are supported by the most talented and dedicated workforce in the nation, and we continue to applaud their efforts. Our commitments to the entire MCPS community are critical steps to achieving a successful start to the school year for all students.
Brenda Wolff, president, Montgomery County Board of Education
Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D., interim superintendent of schools