Montgomery County school leaders prepare, plan for fall learning

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County Public Schools is planning for what learning will look like in the fall. School system officials and local leaders are working together to adapt to the new normal.

On Monday, Superintendent Jack Smith said, “we don’t really know hard this is going to hit us. As this unfolds we have to stay flexible and come back and work on this and look at how we can move forward.”

MCPS leaders presented the system’s Recovery of Education Plan during Monday’s Montgomery County Council Education and Culture Committee’s meeting.

Federal funds may help with recovery. Schools in the county are hoping to receive over 24.7 million dollars in funding through the CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Some of the funds have to be shared with private schools.

MCPS says their funds will go toward professional development, technology and another component that leaders say is critical: socioemotional learning.

Deputy Superintendent Monifa McKnight explained, “that has to be addressed in terms of acknowledging the impact of all of these different circumstances on our students, and we must have, and will continue to make the commitment to support the socioemotional needs for our students that will be necessary going forward.”

Students who speak English as a second language and students with special needs were significantly impacted by the move to remote learning. MCPS leaders say those students will be prioritized when it comes to in-person instruction in the fall.

“We’ll have them operate on an online platform through the summer. At the end of the summer, we’re actually going to bring them in for small groups to actually test out what that looks like and how well we plan for what we need in the fall,” said McKnight.

School leaders say students and families can expect more information on proceedings for the coming school year in mid-July.

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