Some Montgomery County, Maryland, public schools are dealing with waitlists due to lowered capacity and distancing requirements as students return to classes, but Superintendent Jack Smith says the problem is not widespread.
At a Tuesday school board meeting, Smith clarified that around 80% of schools either have no waitlist, or waitlists with only a handful of students, including recent additions whose families changed their minds on having their child attend in-person classes.
According to Smith, 42% of schools have no waitlist at all. Across all schools, less than 1% of students are waiting to get back into the classroom.
Families were first given the chance to weigh in on returning to classrooms last December, but over time, some changed their minds. Smith said other families have done the reverse, opting to bring their student home after initially opting-in to physical attendance.
“I got an email the other day from a frantic parent that said ‘someone in my family broke a leg and we need to move back to virtual,” Smith said.
The subject of school buildings being closed to students on Wednesdays was also discussed. For now, that won’t change, but Smith said the district does plan to open in the fall with all five days spent in classrooms.