coronavirus pandemic

Montgomery County School Board Details All-Virtual Fall Semester

Officials with MCPS gave new details about what back-to-school looks like with the new year right around the corner

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At Tuesday's Montgomery County School Board meeting, officials laid out what students, parents and staff can expect when the 2020-21 school year begins on Monday, Aug. 31.

Even though classes are moving out of the classroom, schools will still rely on several pre-pandemic staples. The Board says classes will still operate on a traditional grading system, and teachers will take attendance every day.

Students will be given Chromebook laptops as well as wireless hotspots, if families don't have them. Online classes will also be recorded for students who can't watch live. In addition, meal pickup will still be provided for any student who needs it.

The fall plan also sets out a daily schedule for students with four full days of live classes. Wednesdays would be half days to allow for teacher planning and grading, and for students to get individual, even informal help from teachers.

However, teachers who spoke at Tuesday's meeting said they feel a half day for planning isn't enough, and that some disciplines like foreign language and math require everyday study, which is not accounted for in the current schedules.

MCPS board members say the hope is to reopen for in-person instruction in the second semester. They tell News4 they will reassess the coronavirus situation in November, and see if that’s still possible.

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