Private schools in Montgomery County will stay closed for in-person instruction through Oct. 1, the county's top health official says. If countywide data are lower than the established benchmarks, some students — those in special education programs, pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade, high school seniors and those in certain career and technical education programs — who chose to participate in face-to-face classes will be welcomed back to schools. The board will also review the district’s academic calendar to determine if changes should be made to the scheduled spring break, in late March into early April. Prince George's County was specifically mentioned by Hogan on Thursday. The current positivity rate in Montgomery County, MD is 3.1% and has been on a consistent downward trend. However, according to a Washington Post report, the county responded by issuing a new order, based on different law, that once again directs private schools to remain closed until October.. Montgomery County health officer Travis Gayles said in a news conference earlier this week that he … If schools begin reopening on March 15, students would have about three months of in-person classes before the end of the academic year on June 16. Sara Berkholtz said her student in a special education program does not receive adequate services, and has regressed academically since buildings closed. The school board will meet again in January and in February to review COVID-19 metrics more. Classes will begin virtually on Sept. 1. The county had ordered private and parochial schools to close, but the governor said they could reopen. Copyright 2020 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. The plan, however, maintains two important metrics that must be met countywide before that can happen. On Friday, County Health Officer Travis Gayles ordered all nonpublic schools … “I would argue that some of the biggest bullies … who have reached out to us are not MCPS employees,” O’Neill said. ... Also, Gayles refused to even look at the reopening plans put forth by schools. And, he added, while children experience severe illness from the virus less often than adults, there is limited information about the long-term effects of contracting COVID-19. So far many public school systems including Anne Arundel, Harford, Howard, Carroll, Cecil, Queen Anne's and Baltimore Counties and City have decided to start the year off virtually. Montgomery County strongly encourages all schools to provide distance learning for the fall semester. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Montgomery County schools outlines all-virtual reopening plan Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Jack R. Smith, pictured in 2018, released a … Back to Reopening homepage » Considerations for Recovery of Education in Second Semester. The school board on Tuesday also voted to continue allowing all students to be eligible for extracurricular activities, regardless of their grades. Smith said MCPS has contacted the state Department of Education about “building in time” for staff members to prepare buildings to reopen, likely canceling some virtual classes to allow teachers to set up their classrooms. On July 31, Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles issued an executive order to prohibit Montgomery County private schools from reopening, citing health and safety reasons. On Friday, Montgomery County announced an order prohibiting the reopening of private and religiously affiliated schools until at least Oct. 1. 1 priority.”. So far, the county has received plans from about a dozen nonpublic schools planning to reopen, said Dr. Earl Stoddard, director of the Montgomery County Office of … During a County Council meeting on Tuesday morning, Dr. Earl Stoddard, director of the county’s Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said it is difficult to compare other countries’ or states’ school reopenings because each place has different circumstances. But MCPS — the state’s largest school district, with more than 161,000 students — has remained all-virtual as some parents push for a return to classrooms. "The blanket closure mandate imposed by Montgomery County was overly broad and inconsistent with the powers intended to be delegated to the county health officer," said Hogan. During a meeting on Tuesday, the Montgomery County Board of Education voted 7-1 to delay its reopening plan for the third time, pushing back the Feb. 1 start date until at least March 15 — more than a year after buildings closed. On March 12, Gov. Berkholtz said that should be attainable, especially because educators will likely begin to be vaccinated in the coming weeks. … As long as schools develop safe and detailed plans that follow CDC and state guidelines, they should be empowered to do what’s best for their community," Hogan said. On Friday, officials in Maryland’s most populous county said that private schools, including some of the nation’s most elite, had to join them. “… We think this makes the most sense at this point.”. “I know this is difficult for some, and for others, they’re relieved,” MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith said. Then, when the county hits a threshold of 5 to 10 cases per 100,000 (given the test positivity rate remains below 5%), the rest of the students who opted for in-person classes would be allowed to return to buildings. As of Tuesday afternoon, Montgomery County had a case rate of 49.8 per 100,000 people and a test positivity rate of 7.7%, both well above the district’s reopening thresholds and trending worse. The suspension will remain in effect through the first quarter of the 2021-22 academic year. Montgomery County Public Schools » Reopening 2020 The page will be used to provide more information on MCPS plans for educating students during the 2020-21 school year. She voiced frustration with the lack of information about the rollout of the delayed reopening. Larry Hogan ordered a two-week, statewide closure of all schools in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. When schools do reopen, MCPS plans a gradual return for students and staff. Montgomery County students’ return to schools will be pushed back again as local COVID-19 cases continue to surge. MCPS is not allowing in-person sports practices or competitions. During Tuesday’s school board meeting, he underscored that there are many different opinions about school reopening, but that the decision to keep schools closed “makes the most sense.”. Meanwhile the Archdiocese of Maryland has chosen to give most Catholic school students the choice to have online or in person classes. School board member Pat O’Neill added: “Everyone can offer an opinion, but it’s harder to take the responsibility for health and safety, and health and safety has to be the No. “The long-term implications of COVID for children and adults is still very poorly understood. Last week, the Montgomery County school board voted to delay its reopening plan from Feb. 1 to March 15, two weeks later than Hogan’s deadline. This story was updated at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, 2021, to include more information about the reopening vote. — Montgomery County health officials are doubling down on their prohibition of nonpublic schools opening for in-person instruction before … “I agree we want to get children back into schools for education … but I think my biggest consternation is that we know there’s going to be substantial educational loss at this point, but what we don’t know is what the medical and long-term risks are.”. Smith is expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon about the decision. Those metrics are a COVID-19 case rate of 15 per 100,000 residents or less, or a test positivity rate below 5%. ANNAPOLIS, Md. She urged the school board to commit to bringing all special education back into schools by March 1. All businesses, as a condition of reopening, are required to abide by the following rules. In December, the school board approved its return plan, which outlines a phased return to buildings. The parents cite national and international studies that suggest schools are not the sources of major coronavirus spread, lower grades, social isolation and learning loss in their arguments. Academy of the Holy Cross, Kensington. Some of the studies cited by the parents have one major caveat: They say school reopenings are safe if the rate of community transmission outside of the buildings is low. It has been 305 days since MCPS students were last in schools for regular in-person classes. 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