Montgomery County schools delay partial reopening until at least mid-March

Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County Public Schools has again delayed bringing small groups of students back for in-person instruction.

This week, the county’s Board of Education decided to push reopening back from February 1 to at least March 15. That date is tentative and health metrics at that time are expected to influence the decision. On February 23rd, the Board of Education will vote on whether or not they will send some students back to school in March.

Parents expressed differing opinions on MCPS’ social media post announcing the delay, with some praising the school district for making the decision to keep students at home, while others said they feared for the mental health and overall well being of students.

MCPS leaders say the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine will make a difference when it comes to the reopening timeline.

“Educators are in group 1B of the vaccination plan, so we are working to collect input from various stakeholders on how we can work with county health officials around the process for vaccinations for our staff. Our hope is that by the end of January, at the earliest, we can begin that process,” said Dr. Monifa McKnight, deputy superintendent for MCPS.

Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith says he estimates close to 90 percent of MCPS staff and educators will accept the vaccine when it is offered to them, based on results from surveys in other Maryland school systems. He says the school system is working to do something similar and officially gauge interest among employees in the next several days.

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