Some students in Montgomery County, Maryland, will have to wait longer to return to the classroom, with the school board pushing the start date for in-person learning to March.
Some students were slated to go back to the classroom on Feb. 1, but on Tuesday the school board voted to delay the start of returning small groups of students to March 15 — and that is if health metrics are met or health guidance is adjusted because of coronavirus vaccine distribution.
“The COVID-19 new case rate and test positivity in the county remain significantly above the thresholds adopted by the county and state,” Montgomery County Public Schools said in a statement.
Montgomery County schools shared what they will do to improve the learning experience of all students in the meantime, particularly secondary school students, which include:
- Focused outreach services for struggling students.
- Greater use of the Wednesday virtual check-in day for students who need academic and social-emotional support.
- At the secondary level, providing opportunities to request an abbreviated schedule to lighten course load and take a course over the summer or in future semesters instead.
- Relaxing restrictions to allow students to take up to two courses as credit/no credit (also known as pass/fail) instead of a letter grade.
- Providing more instructional times that could involve Saturdays, including for advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses.
- Tutoring and homework help options.
- Providing more professional development for staff to improve virtual learning.
The school board will meet again on Feb. 23 to determine if metrics can be met by March to return to in-person learning.
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