MCPS Board of Education Update

The Board of Education met Dec. 15 to discuss and take action on a plan for the return of students to in-person learning. MCPS staff provided an update on current health conditions in the county, results of the parent preference survey and expectations for the return of students to school buildings.

View the PowerPoint Presentation and Watch a Recording of the Meeting

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • MCPS has developed a health metrics dashboard for a safe, phased-in return to in-person instruction. The grid is aligned with CDC guidelines and was developed in consultation with Montgomery County health officials. 
  • The Board reaffirmed the health metrics threshold of a 14-day new case rate below 15 cases per 100,000 residents and the test positivity rate below 5 percent. They approved updates to the metrics framework that will allow MCPS to safely serve more groups of students when the case rate is below 15 cases. 
  • If metrics are met, the district will start to bring some students back for in-person instruction beginning February 1*, 2021. The initial return will focus solely on students in specific special education and Career Technology Education (CTE) programs. These families will be notified if selected.
    • * This was changed from a mid January date at the December board meeting.
  • How instruction will be delivered once we return to buildings may be differentiated for students, given capacity restrictions and staff availability. Parents will receive more information about their school-specific model in January. Survey responses will be used to develop each community and level-specific model. Again, all students may opt to remain fully virtual, and we know the virtual model will play a significant role in our delivery of instruction for the foreseeable future.
  • The board approved a phased return plan that:
  • Accelerates the return of elementary school students, specific special education programs and students in identified career technology programs.
  • Allows for in-person athletics and extracurricular activities to begin when the first student group returns for in-person instruction in buildings.
  • Allows for individualized in-person experiences and support by appointment.
  • The Board will meet again on Jan. 12, 2021, to determine if metrics can be met by Feb. 1 for a safe return to in-person learning. While the first group of students are currently scheduled to begin the transition back to in-person learning on Feb. 1 if metrics allow, we have not determined specific dates for when the other groups of students will begin to phase in.
  • Note, the survey that was distributed in December is for the remainder of the school year. 
    • If you indicated virtual learning, your child will be virtual for the remainder of the year.
    • If you did not fill out the survey, your child will be virtual for the remainder of the year.
    • If you indicated that you’d like your child to be in person, you can change to virtual if you are not comfortable with the in person environment.
  • As of January 4 the current stats are 9.15% (testing % positive) and 40.31 (case rate per 100K)