COVID-19

MCPS Schools Closed Through End of School Year


Under direction of Governor Northam, all Virginia schools are closed until through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. This page provides more information on the MCPS online learning program and the food delivery service. 

 Montgomery County Public Schools has been coordinating with local public health agencies as we monitor the global outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We monitor all guidance from the Center for Disease Control. We also keep in close contact with the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education to plan for any changes that might need to occur as a result of COVID-19. 

Any communication sent to parents will be provided on this webpage. 

Graduation 2020 information https://www.mcpsgraduation2020.com/
 
This webpage was last updated on June 3, 2020.


Website Update
June 3, 2020


Our meal delivery program will continue this summer, thanks to bus drivers who have stepped up to work over the summer months. Starting on Tuesday, May 26, we will deliver meals in each area one day each week. Bus routes and drop off times will remain the same (and are linked below). The big difference is that meals will only be delivered on one day each week, depending on where you live. Students will receive 5 lunches on their meal delivery day. We know that this will be beneficial to families in our area throughout the summer months who have come to rely on the meal delivery bus to feed their families.

Auburn Schedule -Tuesday Delivery
Eastern Montgomery Schedule - Tuesday Delivery
Blacksburg Schedule - Wednesday Delivery
Christiansburg Schedule - Thursday Delivery

 


Message to Families
May 15, 2020

MCPS families,

Tonight’s email includes several updates. 

We are launching committees to help us plan our return to school. These committees will include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Dr. Wickham and Mr. Pauli will lead the work to determine how we can improve our remote learning model to make it best for students and teachers. The first meeting will occur before the end of the month and we hope to have good feedback from the group in early June. 

Daily meal deliveries will continue through Friday, May 22. This will be the last day of daily meal delivery. Our meal delivery program will continue this summer, thanks to bus drivers who have stepped up to work over the summer months. Starting on Tuesday, May 26, we will deliver meals in each area one day each week. Families in Auburn and Eastern Montgomery will receive their meals on Tuesday, families in Blacksburg will receive meals on Wednesday, and families in Christiansburg will receive meals on Thursday. Bus routes and drop off times will remain the same. The big difference is that meals will only be delivered on one day each week, depending on where you live. Students will receive 5 lunches on their meal delivery day. The program is self-sustaining through the federal reimbursement program. Previously, our summer meal program has been site-based. Using our meal delivery service removes the transportation barrier so students can continue to receive meals at their homes. We know that this will be beneficial to families in our area throughout the summer months who have come to rely on the meal delivery bus to feed their families.

Today, most of Virginia moves into Phase 1 Guidelines to ease public health restrictions. In line with this guidance MCPS will also ease some of the restrictions on our buildings. Starting on Monday, employees in buildings do not need to follow the A/B work schedule. Employees are still encouraged to work from home if they can. Buildings will be open to the public by appointment only. Starting on June 1, our buildings will move to four day work weeks (with employees working 10-hour days). 

A week from today is the last day of school. We know that this time is awkward and confusing - it feels like summer because we are at home but also feels like we are in school because we are doing work. Our schools are doing everything they can to recognize this time, but we know that you understand our end-of-year activities can’t look the way that they always have.  As we wind down this school year, we remain committed to communicating with you about plans for next year.  We are waiting for guidance from VDOE about the start of school and hope to get that information soon. As we get that information, we will share it with you.


Message to Families
May 7, 2020

Good evening families! We have a wide variety of information to share with you today. 

First, students in grades 3-11 will keep their chromebooks over the summer. They will not need to return them to the school. If you are moving over the summer, please contact your child’s school to arrange a time to drop off their chromebook. Graduating seniors will be given information about how to purchase or return their chromebooks. 

Schools will be in touch about how you can return textbooks and other school-owned materials as we get closer to the last day of school. That information will come directly from your school.

This Friday, May 8, is our final book delivery day! Orders will need to be put in to our Book Request Form by tomorrow at 9 a.m. for delivery on Friday’s meal bus. Our librarians have delivered more than 1,200 books to students during our remote learning time! The local library has added a new way for users to get immediate access to online library resources (including e-books!). You can register your family online to get access to the online resources for the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We recognize that the break in school routine and the pandemic crisis may spark additional anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns for students and adults. School counselors remain available to you and to our students. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has more information on helping teens and young adults during this time. 

As we close out, we leave you with this message from Louie (and Elmo too).


Have a great night!


 

Message to Families
May 1, 2020

Friday, May 1 is a day of celebrations.  First, it is School Lunch Hero Day! Thank you to our school nutrition workers who prepare healthy meals for our students that are delivered right to your door. Thank you to our aides, bus drivers, and school workers who also work together to make our meal deliveries happen. They are all heroes! 

 

Second, it is School Principals Day. Our principals and assistant principals are vital staff in our building helping to provide leadership and support for our teachers and staff members. They are continuing to lead our schools through this crisis. 

Earlier today we announced our graduation plans for the Class of 2020. We will have live, socially distanced graduations for all four of our high schools at Virginia Tech in the cage parking lot. Graduations will be held on Saturday, May 30. The BHS ceremony will start at 8 a.m., EMHS at noon, AHS at 2:30 p.m., and CHS at 5:30 p.m. This location will give us more than enough parking for families to have multiple cars to celebrate each graduate. Each family will drive up together to the stage and will be close enough to take photos as the graduate walks across the stage. As we finalize traffic patterns and times, that information will be sent directly to families. There will also be a designated area for school staff to attend the graduations. We know that seeing seniors graduate is important to our staff members too and will have the area set aside for staff to watch. We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2020! 

As we close out these last few weeks of the school year, thank you for your continued support of our teachers and their efforts to continue educating our students. Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s a perfect time to send your child’s teacher an email or a video thanking them for their efforts. 

 

Have a great weekend.


Message to 6-12 Families
April 20, 2020

Dear middle and high school families,

Tonight’s email contains updates on grading. Updates on Virtual Virginia courses and Project AIM can be found at the end of the email. 

As our students continue to complete work for this last quarter of the year, our grade books are not showing grades for the fourth quarter. We asked teachers to mark current assignments as exempt from the grade calculation until we were able to update grading formulas in Portal based on the guidelines for grading.

We are now ready to update grade books to show Q4 grades. These Q4 grades will not automatically calculate into the final grade for students in Portal. Making this change will be beneficial to teachers at the end of the year as they determine whether the Q4 average should calculate into the student's final grade. It will also allow teachers, parents, and students to visually assess completed work during the fourth quarter.

Starting on Wednesday, April 22, we will turn off parent and student access to Portal while the grade books are updated. We will re-open Portal on Monday, April 27, and the grades should reflect the new changes. Parents and students may get a series of grade change notifications as a result of this change. 

At the end of the year, teachers will visually compare final grades with Q4 grades to determine whether a student's final grade would increase if Q4 assignments are a part of the calculation. Teachers will manually adjust the grades of any student whose fourth-quarter coursework would have a positive impact on the final grade. 

Students can continue to ask questions about their grades. We are also extending the deadline for the grade change request process until June 15. 

We are grateful to our teachers for the time they are spending to create quality educational content for our students. We are proud of the work that students are doing to continue to learn.

Other Program Updates

Economics and Personal Finance - The grading for EFP will work differently than for other MCPS coursework because it is a program governed by Virtual Virginia. The EPF teacher will continue to be based on student performance on quizzes generated by the Virtual Virginia program. Students enrolled in EPF should contact the MCPS EPF coordinator via MCPS email if they need assistance.  MCPS will exercise the same flexibility in working with individual EPF students who do not have home Internet access as described in the MCPS Instructional Plan.

Virtual Virginia (not EPF) - The grading for Virtual Virginia courses will work differently than for other MCPS coursework because it is a program governed by Virtual Virginia. Virtual Virginia will continue to teach, conduct live online instruction sessions with students, and remain available to students and parents for the duration of any extended school closure. Students enrolled in Virtual Virginia courses will continue working on courses and remain in contact with VVA teachers via phone, email, LMS, or web conferencing. The Q4 and final course grades in VVA courses will continue to be based on grades generated by VVA teachers, NOT on “Completion Grades”. 

Project AIM - Students currently enrolled in Project AIM courses for Credit Intervention, Recovery Recovery, or Credit Acquisition will continue working on courses and remain in contact with Project AIM teachers through MCPS email.  Project AIM teachers will exercise the same flexibility in their work with individual students who do not have home Internet access as described in the MCPS Instructional Plan. 


Message to Families
April 14, 2020

 

Families,

We hope that everyone had a relaxing and restful spring break. 


Our staff spent a lot of time this weekend finalizing the grading procedures for our fourth quarter assignments. This work is based on recommendations from VDOE, the MCPS teacher grading survey, and the work of the grading committee. Below you will find links to the grading guidelines that we provided to teachers. These documents contain a lot of language from the state about waivers and emergency guidelines. The major takeaway is this - A student’s grade at the end of the third quarter is the lowest grade that they can receive as a final course grade. Students have the opportunity to earn a higher grade, but will not be penalized for incorrect work during our remote learning time. 


We want to recognize that our families and our students are working through a crisis right now. We also want to recognize students who work hard in the fourth quarter to raise their final course grade. 


Secondary COVID-19 Grading Document

Elementary COVID-19 Grading Document


This week we will send you a survey about the remote learning experience. We have six more weeks in the semester and want to be sure that the needs of all of our students are being met during this time. Thank you for your patience and your continued support of MCPS.



 

Message to Families
April 7, 2020

Good evening MCPS! Spring Break is officially here and it definitely feels different. We know that the change to remote learning has been difficult for some of our students. More than that, we know that the shift to not seeing friends and teachers every day has been difficult for all of our students. We hope that you commit some time during Spring Break to rest and restore. Schoolwork will still be there on Tuesday. 

A few housekeeping items before we sign off for the extended weekend. First, school playgrounds are now off-limits. We have had to put this restriction into place to help keep our community safe and to comply with social distancing guidelines. Second, meal delivery will start back on Tuesday with our revised routes. We have links at the bottom of the email in case you need them. Remember, buses will visit each stop only once per day. Last, we still need volunteers to help pack our meals. We provide proper protective gear and a separate space for each volunteer to work in. Signing up for just one day each week is tremendously helpful. You can sign up online at www.mcps.org/volunteer

Have a great Spring Break! 

Meal Delivery Routes: 

Auburn Schedule - Starting April 14

Blacksburg Schedule - Starting April 14

Christiansburg Schedule - Starting April 14

Eastern Montgomery Schedule - Starting April 14

 


Message to Middle and High School Families
April 2, 2020

 

MCPS continues to evaluate how grades will be assigned during our remote learning program. This week, teachers began creating assignments in their electronic grade books so that parents and students can keep track of missing assignments in PowerSchool. Our teachers need a way to record and maintain a record of student work during the remote learning period.  A committee is still working through how final grades will be determined, and we realize that this has created some heightened concern for students and families. Assignments recently added in the grade books will be recalculated and/or assessed for inclusion in grade calculations once final decisions are made regarding how grading will occur. 

We continue to move forward with determining how grades will be assigned during the fourth quarter. Next week, a committee that includes MCPS leadership, teachers, students, and parents will review the following considerations:

  • Grading student work in Quarter 4 

  • Calculating final course grades

  • Including final grades on student transcripts and in GPA calculations

  • Awarding Standard and Verified Credits

  • Specific grading requirements for Dual Enrolled courses

The goal of the committee is to come to a consensus on these items. Including input and feedback from all stakeholders before finalizing a decision requires more time, but it provides transparency and allows folks to have a voice. 

Once we have determined how each of these items will be addressed, we will communicate the information to everyone. We remain committed to keeping you informed about our remote learning process.


Meal Update
April 2, 2020

For families looking for meal options during Spring Break (April 8-13), Sheetz is offering free meals for kids daily between April 2 and April 16. The "Kidz Meal Bagz" will include a turkey sandwich, chips, and a drink.

 


Message to Families
April 1, 2020

Good afternoon MCPS. Today’s update is about our meal delivery program. On Tuesday, April 7, students will receive five lunches through our meal delivery service. Buses may run a little slower on Tuesday, but we hope these meals will help our students through Spring Break.

After Spring Break, we will have new bus times for our meal delivery service. The adjusted routes will only occur once each day. The new schedule will allow our meal delivery staff to work on an alternating day schedule. Every student will still receive meals every day. Our buses will start handing out the new schedules for our bus routes tomorrow. We want you to have the information now so that you can prepare. The routes are linked for your convenience below. We recommend showing up 5 minutes early to your stop. 

Auburn Schedule - Starting April 14

Blacksburg Schedule - Starting April 14

Christiansburg Schedule - Starting April 14

Eastern Montgomery Schedule - Starting April 14

At our large bus stops, drivers may start to ask students to spread out or to move to other areas within walking distance of the current stops. We want to adhere to the 6 foot social distancing guidelines wherever we can. We will also ask kids to separate if they are in groups of 10 or more. The bus will wait at the stop until everyone has gotten their food from the bus. We want for our students and our staff to continue to be healthy. 

We need volunteers to help pack our meal bags at the school. All meals are packed following guidance from the CDC, considering all safety precautions. We pack in our school cafeterias to allow for proper social distancing. Please consider signing up to be a part of this process. Volunteering just one day a week would be a big help.
http://www.mcps.org/volunteer

Friday is our next book delivery day! If your student has ordered books through our library book distribution program, please remind them to pick up their books on Friday. Books may be returned at any time via the meal delivery bus. We ask that you place the book in a bag before handing it to the bus staff. 

Have a good evening. 


Message to Families
March 31, 2020

MCPS families,

We remain committed to keeping you informed about our response to COVID-19. The student parking lot at Blacksburg High School has been identified as a location for closed testing for patients who might have coronavirus. This location was selected by the public health task force. We want you to know that the health department may use this location for COVID-19 testing. Testing at this location is by appointment only. As part of our continued communication efforts, we wanted you to know that a school parking lot will be used for this testing. 

The health and safety of our staff remains a priority for MCPS. Because this is a closed testing site, additional security precautions will be in place starting around 10 a.m. Public access to BHS will not be allowed after 10 a.m. BHS staff will be asked to show their MCPS badge to enter Bruin Lane or the Bus Loop. Additional police presence will be on site as part of the testing setup. 

Testing will occur this afternoon, as scheduled by the health department. We do not know the schedule for using BHS as a testing site after today. The purpose of the testing site is to allow for additional COVID-19 testing in the community to properly plan for community response while still preventing a surge of testing patients at local hospitals. 

We understand that having the closed testing site at a school building is important in supporting community efforts in battling COVID-19. The public health task force, Blacksburg Police Department, and the Virginia Department of Health have all approved the closed testing site plan to ensure the safety of MCPS staff. 

Symptoms for coronavirus include fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath. If you experience these symptoms, we encourage you to contact your family doctor. We are continuing to clean common areas in our buildings at least twice each day. We are also cleaning all teacher classrooms after they have worked in them. Walk-in testing will not be accepted at the closed testing site. Anyone who feels they should be tested should call the VDH call center at 540-267-8240.



Message to Families
March 30, 2020

 

Families,

Good afternoon. Earlier today the Governor issued a Stay At Home order asking Virginians to stay at home except for food, work, supplies, medical care, or exercise.  This Stay At Home order does not change the current operation of MCPS. 


Our meal delivery program is considered an essential service that provides food for our students. We need your help at our bus stops. Please encourage your students to maintain safe social distance when waiting at the bus stop with other families. Whenever possible, please maintain a distance of 6 feet from other families. The bus will stay at the stop as long as necessary in order to make sure that all students can get their meals. 


As a reminder, Kindergarten Registration is this week. If you have a child who will turn 5 on or before September 30, you can use our online portal to register them for school. Visit www.mcps.org/kreg for more information. We understand that it is difficult to get some of the health forms or residency information to our schools right now. The most important thing is to get the online registration completed. We will work with you to get the paper documents before the first day of school. 


Have a great week!



Employee Rights
Information on paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

Employee Rights


Message to Families
March 27, 2020

 

We’ve made it through Week 2. Tonight’s email contains reminders and helpful information for you as you and your students are home. 

We’ve been through a lot these past two weeks - both collectively and individually. Mental health is as important now as it has ever been. A school psychologist provided the resources below for parents who want to read more about anxiety and mental health for students during social distancing and COVID-19.

Anxiety and Emotional Support During COVID-19 (NAMI)

#BeTheDifference for People with Mental Health Concerns (MHFA)

 

It’s time to complete the 2020 Census. The Census happens every 10 years and determines how we receive federal funding for schools and also federal funding for our local hospitals, emergency services, and preschool programs such as Head Start. Our community needs everyone to complete the Census and be counted. You can complete the census online today

 

Our meal delivery and library book deliveries will continue next week. We will start our revised bus schedule after spring break. Our transportation routing team is working through the weekend to get the bus routes consolidated. We will make sure you have copies of the new schedule as soon as they’re ready. 

 

As a reminder, the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health are encouraging social distancing. To further support those goals, we are temporarily stopping public access to all MCPS athletic fields and facilities while schools are closed. As soon as it is safe to open the fields back up for public use, we will let you know. 

 

We hope you and your families are doing well. Please know that we are here to support you. Have a great weekend.

 


Message to Families
March 25, 2020

Good afternoon. We have several updates for you this evening. 


The first thing to know is that the last day for students will be on Friday, May 22. We will continue to educate our students and prepare them for their next academic year. We might be working and learning remotely for the rest of the year, but we are still working and learning. Here are the general guidelines for when your student can expect new assignments:


Lessons / Assignments

Due From Teachers

Posted in Google Classroom

(Also ready to be mailed via paper packets or jump drives for students without internet access)

Assignments

Due Back to Teachers

March 31

April 17

(Adjusted for Spring Break)

April 21

May 8

April 28

May 15

May 5

May 20

(Last Student Day is May 22)



We can not say this enough - this is new for all of us. We will continue to learn and adapt as needed. As long as we are all working toward what is best for our students, we are all moving in the same direction. We know that we will need to adjust assignments and classroom activities to best fit the needs of your students. Our goal is to prepare students to be successful for their next grade level or sequential course. 


As we continue our work to protect the health of our staff members, our students, and our community, we are making a few operational changes. 


We are moving to an alternating work schedule for all of our on-site employees. Employees will alternate days that they work on site and work from home. Our administrators and School Board Office staff will still be available to help you every day. You may experience a slight delay in response time on days that employees are working from home. Our goal is to increase social distancing and protect the health of our employees while still providing essential educational and meal delivery services. 


We do not have a definite start date yet, but the times for our meal deliveries will change. We want to let you know now so that the update isn’t a complete surprise. On the defined start date, our buses will run each bus route once (instead of twice) and each bus will run two different routes each day (instead of the same routes twice). We will provide updated routes to all families at least two days before this change is put in place. Our bus routes are still running their same schedule this week. The official start date for the new meal delivery schedule will be announced tomorrow. We are still finalizing these plans. 


Starting tomorrow, volunteers will no longer ride buses. Because we are mailing jump drives instead of collecting and distributing chromebooks, we need volunteer help in a different way. We will ask volunteers to help load food onto buses and assemble meal delivery bags. Volunteers received this information today. 


Thank you for your patience as we continue to adjust our efforts to meet the needs of our students. Thank you for your continued feedback and for your positivity during this time.



Message to Families
March 24, 2020

MCPS families,

Good afternoon.  Yesterday’s announcement that school buildings will stay closed until the end of the year was upsetting for many of our students. This is understandable. Our students and teachers had plans - field trips, classroom activities, even regular daily events. It is okay to be sad to lose those opportunities. Please take some time with your student and reflect on the impact of the closure. Yes, we are using remote learning. However, we know that doesn’t replace the face-to-face interactions with teachers and classmates. Teachers were informed today that they have the option to have a virtual class meeting. Virtual class meetings are options for teachers and students. Instructional content will not be delivered via these meetings, but students can ask questions about the content. 


Later this week, your principal will provide you with information on how students will pick up items from the school building. We are working on best practices and what that should look like, but expect that your principals will have a working plan by the end of the week. 


For our middle and high school students, we are working on addressing credit, verified credits, final course grades, and GPA. We have been assured that this school closure will not prevent seniors from graduating. Likewise, we will have flexibility in completing course work and awarding course credit for students in grades K-11 so that they may advance to the next grade level or sequential course with confidence. Teachers will be provided with guidance for how to award final course grades, with grades earned prior to March 13 being given greater consideration than assessments done in the current virtual environment.


We will continue to teach in our remote learning environment using paper packets (PK-2) and Google Classroom (3-12). Starting next week, students who do not have internet access in grades 3-5 will receive paper packets in the mail. Students who do not have internet access in grades 6-12 will be mailed jump drives with their classwork on it (and instructions for how to use the jump drives). The loading of information onto student Chromebooks was too labor-intensive to serve as a long-term solution. We will send out more details about the process later this week.


While we expect student learning to continue using the remote learning environment, we do know that the classwork will look different than in-class assignments. Our teachers are amazing educators. Every August, they meet their students where they are academically and provide the content that they need. That might look a little different next year, but we know our teachers are committed to make sure students are learning the content that they need.


Dr. Miear is committed to holding graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020. We do not know what these ceremonies will look like.  We do not know when they will occur. We will honor the achievements of these students and hope to get more information in the coming weeks.


A quick reminder that Spring Break remains a part of our calendar.  We will not deliver meals between April 8 and April 13. Employees will not work during this time and we will allow for this break when sending out our remote learning information. Aside from this break, we will continue our remote learning, our meal deliveries, and our library book deliveries.

 

We will continue to keep you informed. You can expect several messages this week both from us and from your principal as we finalize the plans for what the remainder of the year will look like.



Message to Families
March 23, 2020

 

Today, Governor Northam announced that all Virginia schools will remain closed through the end of the school year. The announcement came just moments ago and we wanted to get this information to you quickly.

We know that this announcement creates many questions about your child’s education for the rest of the year and about the special events that our schools had planned this year. We are going to get you answers to all of those questions. Tonight, we ask for your patience. Please hold your questions just for one day. 

Our goal for the rest of this week is to get you answers to as many questions as possible. Likely these answers will come in clusters over the next few days from us and from our schools.

The state has told us that they have guidance about many topics that they will provide to us. We remain committed to keeping you informed. We also remain dedicated to meeting the needs of our students. 

Our meal delivery buses will continue to run. Chromebooks were dropped off today. If your student was not at the bus to pick up their chromebook, you can call 381-6165 and press option 1 to arrange to pick up your chromebook. Remember, assignments that were due on March 24 are now due April 1. Additional information about the next set of assignments will come out soon. We will not pick up chromebooks this week. 

We continue to learn more about our online learning environment and how we can make it better for students. We are adapting and improving how we educate students remotely. We are creating additional guidance for teachers based on what we learned from this week. 

Thank you for your patience as we all work through these changes together. We’ll be in touch.



 

Message to Families
March 20, 2020

Dear families,

We’re going to press pause this weekend. Tell your students there is only one item of homework and we all have the same assignment. Take time to enjoy your family. Read out loud to your kids, no matter how old they are. Play board games inside or go for a walk outside. Snuggle your pups, kitties, or pet turtles. The world is stressful right now and we all need a break. We need to adjust to this new normal. We don’t know how long it will last.  We need to give ourselves the same grace that we are granting to others.

Right now, we expect for schools to be closed until at least April 14. No official announcement has been made, but we will let you know as soon as the date has officially moved. 

When we put together our remote learning plan, it was designed to be a two week stopgap. We were asking ourselves how we could keep our students learning on pace for two weeks. Over the last few days, we heard conversations that lead us to believe the Governor would extend the closure. That means we have to reassess our plans. Here are the important things to know: 

  • There will be no new assignments until April 1. We have asked teachers to move the deadline for their current assignments to April 1 (from March 24). There will be no new assignments until April 1. 

  • The next set of virtual lessons (3-12) and learning packets (PK-2) will now go out on Wednesday, April 1. 

  • Our teachers learned a lot through the first set of lessons. You can expect to see adjustments in expectations for the second set of lessons. 

  • Teachers will be focused on big ideas using smaller chunks of learning and short, simple assignments. These are more conducive to a remote learning environment. 

  • Teachers are available to you and your student if you have questions. You can use email or other teacher-specified avenues to contact them. 

Our remote learning program is not a perfect replacement for face-to-face instruction. We pride ourselves on having some of the best teachers in Virginia. They are innovative, creative, and focus on building relationships with students. That can not be mirrored in a remote environment. You do not have to homeschool your children. Use your teachers as resources. Our teachers are at their best when they are working with students - that’s why they chose this profession. They want to help students and parents who have questions. They won’t know how to modify their coursework if they don’t hear from you. 

Have a wonderful weekend. You will hear from us again next week.



Message to Families
March 18, 2020

 

Good evening MCPS families! We served more than 5,000 students through our meal delivery program and collected almost 150 chromebooks from students without internet access! Thank you for your support of these programs and for sharing them with your friends and neighbors who might not know about them. We are proud of the services that we are providing to all of our families during our school closure. 

We continue to be amazed at the outpouring of care and compassion that you showcase. Many of you have asked how you can help with our meal delivery program. We have opened up a Volunteer Interest Form that you can complete. Our first day for volunteers will be Tuesday, March 24. Use the form to show us that you’re interested and a member of our HR team will follow up to schedule you for a day of volunteering. Thank you for your offers to help keep our programs running during this time. 

As your student begins using their chromebook more, you might find that they run into some glitches. You can get technical help by calling 540-381-6165 and pressing option 1 or by emailing helpdesk@mcps.org.  Teachers are still your first email if you have questions or trouble with an assignment. The technology help line will help you if your chromebook isn’t working properly. 

Our IT team also wants you to have instructions on how to download all of your student’s Google Classroom work. These are helpful if you choose to visit a wifi hotspot at a school to get your classwork. Just as a reminder, you can view all of your child’s Google Classroom work. Ask them to log in and show you what they are working on. Our students are familiar with the platform and have had practice using it. 

Our last item tonight is a fun announcement. Your student can have library books delivered through our meal delivery bus! The first day for book delivery is Tuesday. Students should use Destiny to look up specific book titles and can use the Book Delivery Form to request their book. They even have the option to request that their librarian choose a book for them. Requests must be in by Monday morning to make it onto the Tuesday meal delivery bus. Students must pick up the books at their bus stop during the usual meal pick up time. 

We want to close out tonight by thanking our staff for the amazing work that they are doing. Teachers are changing how they teach by moving to online and paper resources. Our school nutrition staff has changed their entire delivery model. Our aides are still helping students, but are doing it from a bus. Our bus drivers are carrying food instead of students. Everyone in MCPS is doing their part to help our students feel a little closer to school during this closure. Thank you for your support of our district and the work that we are doing. These types of changes can’t happen without parent support and we appreciate you.


Message to Families
March 17, 2020

Dear Families,

Tomorrow is a big day in MCPS! Our remote learning program officially begins tomorrow. Students in grades 3-12 can expect their Google Classrooms to be updated with new information tomorrow. Packets for PK-2 will be put in the mail tomorrow. Families should receive paper packets by the end of the week. 


Tomorrow is also the first day of our chromebook drop-off program. This is for families who do not have internet access at home. We will download your child’s google classroom information for them. Your child should bring their chromebook out to the meal delivery bus at the same time that meals are delivered. We will take the chromebooks to our operations center to be sanitized and loaded up. We will deliver the chromebooks via the meal delivery bus on Monday.  You can look up your bus time by visiting www.mcps.org/bus. Buses will arrive four hours after the regular pick up time. Chromebooks must have the MCPS barcode and the child’s name on them in order to be returned on Monday. The barcode and the child’s name were placed on the chromebook when it was issued to them. Chromebooks can not be dropped off for repair at this time. We will provide more information about chromebook repair soon.


Tomorrow, we will send step by step instructions for how to download your child’s google classroom materials all at once. These steps will be helpful if you choose to access the internet from an MCPS wifi hotspot (available in school parking lots) or using the XFinity free wifi hotspots. Here is the map to find those free wifi spots.  For those who do not have internet, Comcast is also offering free internet for 60 days for qualifying families


We continue to be amazed by the positive community response to the work that we are doing to educate students. Thank you for all that you are doing to support your students and to support MCPS. Thank you for your patience while we all try out these new programs and systems together.



March 16, 2020
Message to Families


Dear Families,

Today was the first day of our meal delivery service for students. More than 4,600 students received breakfast and lunch through this service today! We are proud to offer this for our families. It couldn’t happen without the work of our bus drivers and our aides who are committed to the health and nutrition of our students. Hear more from Dr. Miear about the first day. 

We had a few glitches in the Blacksburg area today. We apologize for that and are working to get those fixed for tomorrow. This system is brand new for all of us and it will take a little time to perfect. 

Chromebook pickup will start on Wednesday.  If you do not have internet access at home, we can download your student’s google classroom information onto their chromebook for them. Chromebooks will need to be brought to the food delivery bus on Wednesday. The bus should arrive about four hours later than your usual pick up time. The chromebooks will be taken to the Operations Center where they will be cleaned and downloaded with the student's Google Classroom information.  We will drop chromebooks back off using the meal delivery bus on Monday. We hope that this timeline will be shortened after the first week, but we built in extra time this first week. 

School buildings will still be open tomorrow if you need to pick up any items for your students. School clinics will also be open tomorrow if you need to pick up medication for your student. Remember, a photo ID is required to pick up medication. 

Fourteen schools are available as Wi-Fi hotspots, starting today! A list of the schools can be found at the end of this email. 

Teachers in grades 3-12 worked hard on their online resources for Google Classroom. Your student can expect Google Classroom to be updated on Wednesday. 

Teachers in PK-2 worked on their paper packets for students. Those students can expect their packets at the end of the week. Each packet includes a self-addressed stamped envelope for students to mail their work back to the school. 

We ask you for your continued patience throughout the week. We remain committed to doing all that we can to meet the needs of our students - nutritionally and educationally. 

Thank you for all of your support of our schools! Have a great night! 

 

  • EMES - Community Parking Lot

  • SMS - Main Parking Lot

  • EMHS - Main Parking Lot

  • AES - Parking Lot

  • AHS - Main Parking Lot

  • CPS - Community Lot

  • FBE - Cafe Lot/Student Dropoff

  • FBE - Bus Dropoff Area

  • BES - Front Parking Lot (Rt 114)

  • CMS - Bus Lot and Parent Dropoff

  • CHS - Bus Dropoff area

  • MBE - Bus Dropoff area

  • HAE - Community Parking Lot

  • BHS - Bus Dropoff Parking Lot

  • PFE - Front or Rear Parking Lot

 


 

March 15, 2020
Message to Families


Good evening MCPS families. Tomorrow starts the two-week closure for Montgomery County Public Schools. Our staff worked through the weekend to get ready.  Our nutrition team worked to start preparing grab-n-go meals to get ready to load onto buses tomorrow. Our facilities team worked to create self-addressed stamped envelopes that will be included in the PK-2 packets so parents can mail work back to the teachers. Teachers started working on uploading information into their google classrooms (grades 3-12) and preparing materials for their paper packets (grades PK-2). 

 

Our food delivery service will start tomorrow. Buses will run both secondary and elementary routes. Students can visit the stop closest to their house during either route run. No student will be turned away. You can look up your bus stop at www.mcps.org/bus.  You can also view our bus routes online.  Buses will arrive approximately 4 hours later than the usual pick up time. Buses will be playing music to let you know that they are close. 

 

Staff members will have gloves and may choose to wear masks. Please prepare younger students for this as the staff members might look different. Please encourage students to get their meals quickly. We want to try to keep our buses running as close to on-time as we can. We will need your help to do this.

 

Chromebook delivery will start later this week. We will have more information about this for you tomorrow. This service will allow students without internet access to drop off their chromebook when the bus comes to their stop and for it to be delivered back to them a few days later pre-loaded with their google classroom updates.

 

As we move into the extended closure, we ask for your patience. We know that things won't work perfectly, but we will do our best to adapt. We will continue to prioritize the needs of our students during this time. We will also continue to communicate with you. As promised at the beginning of our coronavirus preparations, you will hear from us at least once each week.

 

As we close out tonight, we wanted to provide you with a resource to talk to your students about the coronavirus.  

Be well,

Brenda



March 15, 2020
Message to Families

MCPS Calendar Updates

Meal Delivery

Free Internet

Canceled Events

 


March 13, 2020
Message to Families

Dear Families,
Thank you for your patience throughout the events of this week. I know that our district plans surrounding COVID-19 were evolving throughout the week and I hope that you felt informed every step of the way. Thank you for your patience today when we delayed dismissal by 30 minutes so students could take time to gather the supplies they need for an extended absence. The Governor’s announcement about school closure caught us a little by surprise. Tonight’s email contains the first blast of information about how we will maintain services to students during the extended closure. More information will follow as additional plans and timelines get finalized.

Today, the Governor declared that all Virginia schools will be closed for at least two weeks starting on Monday. This means that students will not return to school on Monday. A return date has not yet been set. When this is announced, we will let you know.

Teachers will work on Monday and Tuesday next week to prepare one week of lessons for students - either through paper packets (PK-2) or online lessons (3-12). They will continue to work remotely to prepare lessons for the following days.

Our school offices will also be open on Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can use this time to pick up any items that your child might have forgotten at school today. If your child has medication in the clinic, you will be able to pick it up during these hours. You must have a photo ID to pick up your child’s medication.

We will deliver food to students starting on Monday. Food delivery will occur Monday through Friday and will include both breakfast and lunch meals for students. All meals will be grab n go. These meals will be offered free of charge to ALL students and students will pick up breakfast and lunch at the same time. There is no income or eligibility requirement for students to pick up these meals. Students who wish to take advantage of this opportunity should be at their bus stop 4 hours later than their usual pick up time.

Chromebook pickup and delivery for students without internet services will start on Wednesday. We will send out more information about that next week.

Today was the last day of athletics practice. There will be no more practice or competition while school is out.

More information will be sent out in the coming days. Please keep an eye on your email.



March 13, 2020
Message to Community

Good afternoon. Just a few moments ago Governor Northam declared that all Virginia schools will be closed for at least the next two weeks. Today, we will delay dismissal at all schools by 30 minutes to allow students time to gather the supplies that they need to be home for an extended period of time (chromebooks, textbooks, etc).

We’re going to provide additional information in the coming days. Right now, we wanted to be sure to notify you of this change as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will be in touch very soon.


March 12, 2020 
Message to Families (2)

 

Families,

Below, you will find key points of information related to our online learning plan. In the event of closure this will be our plan to continue learning.  We will continue to hold school as long as we can provide a quality educational environment for our students while still keeping them healthy. 

  • Students in Grades PK-2 will receive paper packets from their teachers via USPS
  • Students in Grades 3-12 will utilize Google Classroom.
  • Students who do not have internet access at home will be included in a specialized school bus route. They will be able to bring their Chromebook to the bus. It will be taken to our technology department to have all of their work downloaded to the device. The Chromebook would then be disinfected and delivered back to the student via the bus route.
  • Wi-Fi will available in most school parking lots. All learning will include instruction, assessments, and grading.
  • There will be liberal plans for makeup work understanding that some of our students might have family obligations during a closure or might get sick.
  • Teachers will have office hours when they can be available via phone or email to assist parents and students with the content. 
  • A technology help line will be instituted for students who have technical difficulties with their chromebook or with Google Classroom.
  • Special education accommodations will still be met. 

Additional information about the online learning plan can be found via this slideshow presentation. We are actively working to fill in areas and complete the plan, but wanted you to know what we were working toward.


If we need to move to an online learning platform due to an extended closure, we will provide you and your student with all of the information that you need. This general information is meant to help you plan what the closure might look like for your student at home.


Thanks again for your patience this evening.


March 12, 2020 
Message to Families (1)

 

Dear Families,

Just like the details about the coronavirus and responses are ever-changing, so do our plans as we continue to evaluate how to best support our teachers and students. 

Today, we want to provide clarity for some questions that have been asked often over the last few days. 

Students who stay home because they are sick (fever, vomiting, diarrhea) will have their absences excused. Students who have symptoms of coronavirus (fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath) and who have had exposure to someone with the coronavirus will be asked to stay home for two weeks. This absence will be excused. Students who choose to stay home out of an abundance of caution will be marked with an unexcused absence.

Over the next few days, students in grades 3 and 4 will be assigned chromebooks that they can take home. Additional communication will go directly to those families. Starting today, we encourage students to bring their chromebook to school each day and to take it home with them each evening. If we need to close schools and move to an online learning option, this will ensure that students have their device with them. 

All field trips outside of Montgomery County are canceled starting tomorrow. Field trips to Virginia Tech and Radford University are also canceled. Principals may choose to cancel additional field trips that are within Montgomery County. Those announcements would come from them. We will work to refund any parent or student money that was paid for field trips that are canceled.  

Athletic competitions not canceled by VHSL will still be held. 

SATs scheduled for this weekend are now canceled. 

We will continue to hold school as long as we can provide a quality educational environment for our students while still keeping them healthy. 

Thank you for your time this evening. 

Brenda


March 11, 2020
Message to Families

Dear MCPS Families,

There are a few changes that you will see in MCPS operations starting today in order to limit  potential COVID-19 exposure to our students.

College volunteers will not be allowed in our buildings for the next two weeks. Student teachers who did not leave the area will still be completing their coursework in our schools. Some volunteer after-school programs might be affected by this change. This is another measure to keep our students and staff healthy. 

The MCPS Spring Break is just a few weeks away. Please let your child’s school know if you plan to travel outside of the United States (including cruise ships) or to an area with a known coronavirus outbreak. Certain travels may prompt the need for your child to stay home for 14 days upon your return. We will work with you to make sure your student has all of their makeup work during this time and student absences will be excused.

Tomorrow, students in grades 3 through 12 will be asked about the availability of internet at home. These answers will help us determine how we might be able to move forward with an online learning system. The questions that students will be asked can be found at the end of this email.  If you have young children, please take a few moments to go over what their answers should be. You may also email your child’s teacher with the answer to the questions, if you would prefer that your child not take the survey. 

Finally, this type of event can be scary and confusing for adults and for children. We have all heard rumors about COVID-19 that we know are not true. If you ever have a question about the status of this illness either in Virginia or across the world, the CDC and VDH websites are great resources. If you have questions about how MCPS is responding, you will find all of the most up-to-date information on our website

Thank you for your time. Have a good evening.

Survey Questions: 

  • Student ID Number
  • Name
  • School
  • Grade Level (Grades 3-12 Only)
  • Home Address

March 10, 2020
Message to Families

 

Dear Families,

Our pandemic response team continues to monitor guidance from the CDC regarding the spread of the coronavirus across the United States and to work with officials from the Health Department. 

This week all students will review a video on proper handwashing techniques.  All elementary classes will allow for handwashing time prior to lunch. All middle and high schools will have announcements over the loudspeaker prior to lunch reminding students to wash their hands. 

We have increased our bus cleaning to be at least twice each day - once after morning runs and once after evening runs. 

This week our school nurses are reaching out to families who have a student with a known autoimmune condition that causes them to be more susceptible to respiratory illnesses. If you have not yet been contacted and believe that your child falls into this category, please reach out to your child’s school. We are working with these students to ensure we have proper health plans in place. 

As a quick reminder, proper handwashing means sudsing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Also, remember that if you have a cough, you should cough into a tissue or your elbow.

The health and safety of our students and staff remains our focus right now. We will continue to update you about the preventative measures that we are taking. For additional resources on the coronavirus, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus. Updates from MCPS will be posted online at http://www.mcps.org/covid19.

Have a good evening.


 

March 10, 2020
Social Media Post

March 10 Joint Leadership Meeting


March 9, 2020
Message to Families

 

Dear MCPS Families, 

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the United States. There are three confirmed cases in northern Virginia - these cases are presumptive positives. There are no confirmed cases in Montgomery County or in Southwest Virginia. As the virus continues to spread, information can be both alarming and confusing. We wanted to provide you with basic information about the virus. 

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, meaning it affects the lungs and airways. It is spread through droplets. A person who has the virus and sneezes or coughs into the air could cause others in close proximity to become infected with the virus as they breathe in the droplets or as the droplets get on their hands and they then touch their nose, mouth, or eyes. This is why proper handwashing is so important. Also, remember that if you have a cough, you should cough into a tissue or your elbow. 

Symptoms look a lot like a cold or flu - fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath.

If you experience these symptoms, please contact your family doctor. If you do not have a family doctor, please contact your local urgent care or emergency room. Many doctors are asking anyone with symptoms to call before they come to the office so that the patient can be properly screened. 

At schools, we are cleaning surfaces multiple times each day using VDH-approved cleaning solutions. Our custodian team has a special focus on touchpoints within the schools. We are also cleaning buses at least once each week. It is even more important now for students to stay home when they are sick. Students should be fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school. 

Starting this week, we will begin gathering information from families on the availability of internet access at home. This is part of our research as we determine what academic learning can take place from home if MCPS needs to close due to the spread of COVID-19.

We continue to work with the Virginia Department of Health and follow guidance from the CDC. Our promise to you is that we will update you on our response to coronavirus at least once each week. Even if there is nothing new to report, you can expect to receive an update from us as we continue to monitor this health situation. The safety and health of our students and staff remains a top priority for our school district. 

For additional resources on the coronavirus, visit https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus. Updates from MCPS will be posted online at http://www.mcps.org/covid19.


 

March 5, 2020
Social Media Post

March 5 Meeting About CoronaVirus


February 28, 2020
Social Media Post

Feb 28 Coronavirus Update on Social


February 27, 2020
Message to Families
Good afternoon MCPS families. The CDC has issued health warnings about the coronavirus. Naturally, it is normal to be concerned when we hear about health-related events like this. Please be assured that the health and safety of students and staff is always our top priority.

All common areas in our schools, like water fountains and bathrooms, are sanitized at least twice each day. We are prepared to meet the challenges that these illnesses create.

The best defense against illness is a good offense. This includes washing our hands with soap and water multiple times per day for at least 20 seconds. We also recommend regularly using disinfecting wipes to clean devices that aren’t easily washed like folders, notebooks, cell phones, and chromebooks. As a reminder, please do not send your child to school if they are feeling sick. If your child is sick, please keep them home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication.

The monitoring of communicable diseases happens through the Virginia Department of Health and our local health department. We have a close and positive working relationship with the health department to help us address any concerns that might arise in a school building. We continue to work with the health department and follow guidance from the CDC about the flu and other respiratory illnesses in Montgomery County.

The following resources are provided for your information.

CDC Novel Coronavirus website

VDH Fact Sheet
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