Montgomery County schools denied request to cancel days off before resuming in-person learning


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The Maryland State Board has denied Montgomery County Public School’s request to cancel some classes before in-person return.

Montgomery County Public Schools is set to return to the classrooms on March 15th, and MCPS asked the Maryland State Board of Education to excuse March 9th through March 12th from instruction for time to prepare for the transition.

The Board denied the request, saying the district didn’t indicate any days being added at the end of the year to make up for missed time and 180 days of instruction is a state requirement. The goal for MCPS was to allow time for teachers and support staff to get ready for the many changes that come with new in-person protocols without taking attention away from students.

In a statement, MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith said, “The first students scheduled to return to buildings are generally the youngest — some of whom have never navigated a school building before — and students who need significant support from employees.”

State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said in a response, “We have had students out for enough time and we believe other systems are able to transition their students back without actually having days off of school.” 

MCPS students have not been in the classroom since March, and about 40 percent of their 160,000 students plan to return.

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