A new report outlines plans for virtual learning and rotating in-person attendance.
Going "back to school" will look a lot different due to COVID-19, and schools are heeding the call for accommodations to the drastic circumstances. To begin the year, Montgomery County Public Schools will operate virtually before shifting to a rotating schedule of in-person learning.
The school district released a 21-page report Saturday detailing their plans to kick off classes virtually. Starting on August 31, students would do distance learning before entering a phased reintroduction into physical classrooms. Though currently a draft, it provides a helpful framework for parents, students, and staff to follow going forward.
"MCPS anticipates starting the school year in a virtual-only instructional model given the current public health conditions, to plan for the needs of our families and to provide sufficient training for staff and students on new COVID-19 protocols," the report says.
The recovery models were drafted with input from county health officials and the Maryland State Department of Education, according to Superintendent Jack R. Smith, who drafted a letter for the MCPS Fall 2020: Reimagine, Reopen, Recover Guide.
The MCPS Fall 2020: Reimagine, Reopen, Recover Guide provides an overview of a few of the recovery models we are considering at this time. This is a draft guide; MCPS will amend & improve these recommendations as it receives feedback. Info: https://t.co/x4AVgMIRBK pic.twitter.com/MyzjOnDMyu— MCPS (@MCPS) July 11, 2020
The report states each phase would last between two to four weeks, with consideration given to age and grade level for determining its order. Class sizes will be reduced, as will the number of students permitted in the buildings. Social-distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands are among the health protocols listed in the report, as well as providing hand sanitizer and ordering more school supplies to avoid hands-on contact.
Changes to the document are expected, as the school receives feedback and continues to monitor the shifting public health situation. The school district aims to implement the full rotational schedule for all grade levels by November.
You can find the full report here.
What do you think of Montgomery County's reopening plan for schools? Are there any changes you would make to the report? Sound off in the comments!