Montgomery Co. Board of Education approves plan to reopen schools

The Montgomery County, Maryland, Board of Education gave tentative approval to the plans to bring students back to school in phases starting in January.

Beginning Wednesday, a survey will be made available to parents. They can weigh in on whether they want their children to stick with virtual learning or whether they want to take part in plans to get kids back into classrooms.

The survey will be available to parents until Dec. 3 and will be used to help determine which schools will reopen and how classes can be scheduled.

Transportation options will also be detailed once the school system determines how many students would need bus service.

Should the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate exceed 5%, the schools would not be able to reopen, according to guidelines set out by Montgomery County Public Schools.

WTOP's Kate Ryan explains the return to classes.

The move by the school board came on the same day the county council voted to reinstate coronavirus restrictions, including dropping capacity in restaurants, retail outlets and salons and other personal service businesses to 25% of capacity.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also responded to the state’s surge in COVID-19 cases, announcing new restrictions Tuesday night as the statewide positivity rate hit 5%.

Hogan, referring to the latest statistics that indicated Maryland recorded at least 1,000 new coronavirus cases for seven days in a row, said the state has “crossed over into the danger zone.”

Last week, the Maryland Department of Health began posting the number of COVID-19 cases in every school in the state. As of Nov. 5, just one Montgomery County school appeared on the list — St. Andrews Episcopal School in Potomac had two confirmed cases, according to the data.

The plans for the return to school for in-person instruction were unveiled at last week’s Montgomery County Board of Education meeting.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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