Public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, are asking parents to report COVID-19 cases if their kids test positive for the virus over winter break.
The public school system said the request will help them to reopen schools on Jan. 3.
Maintaining a safe environment when we return to school on Jan. 3 means knowing and responding to positive student cases. If your child does test positive for COVID-19 during winter break, please report that to MCPS using this form: https://t.co/bvlAbPWKMQ
— MCPS (@MCPS) December 27, 2021
Monifa McKnight, the school system’s interim superintendent, said she was doing everything in her power “to keep our school system open for our students,” during a news briefing on Dec. 20.
The announcement brought mixed reviews, with some parents saying the move to return to in-person classes is irresponsible. Other parents advocated for a buffer period of temporary virtual classes after winter break.
It also means switching to virtual school for January if we want our kids to remain safe. Omicron is a highly contagious and transmittable virus. Omicron in combination with the recent gatherings and travel, is going to spread like wild fire. Please keep our children safe!
— Heather (@BFMLlama) December 27, 2021
Last February, dozens of students and parents protested the phased reopening plan of Montgomery County schools in cold temperatures.
Still, some welcomed the decision.
Really grateful that @MCPS has committed to keeping schools open. I’m glad my kids will be safe in school this January.
— Kara (@Karadowd) December 28, 2021
The county isn’t relying on self-reporting as the only way to keep schools open — parents have had the option to opt-in their students for both random and rapid testing in all schools.
The random tests are given as a preventive measure to a sample of students and give results to parents in a few days while the rapid tests are given to students who are symptomatic at school (with parental permission).
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