MCPS: 2020-2021 School Year to Start Fully Online, With Phased In-Person Instruction by November

Excerpts below are from the Bethesda Magazine article ‘MCPS to start school year fully online, with phased in-person instruction by November‘ (July 11, 2020).

Montgomery County students will begin the next academic year online, with a phased approach to bring them back to school buildings part-time by the end of November, according to the school district’s draft plan released Saturday [July 11, 2020].

The 21-page plan, titled, “MCPS Fall 2020: Reimagine, Reopen, Recover,” largely mirrors that of an earlier version released Friday [July 10, 2020] by the teachers union. It details the school district’s vision for the fall semester, but emphasizes throughout that plans could change if there is a local spike in COVID-19 cases. The decision that children would start the school year remotely was not included in the first draft distributed by the union.

School officials on Saturday [July 11, 2020] cautioned that the draft plan is not the final version and it will be adjusted based on changing health conditions and community feedback.

“As you can imagine, this work has been challenging and incredibly complex,” MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith wrote in a message to staff members. “We have discussed and evaluated several possible models for reopening schools and the truth is, there is no one option that can address all of the instructional, operational and logistical challenges that our school system is faced with.”

Unlike many area school districts, MCPS does not plan to postpone the first day of school, scheduled for [August 31, 2020]. Instead, the school district will begin the school year in a virtual-only model to continue planning and provide training to staff members about new COVID-19 protocols.