Montgomery County

Montgomery County Students, Parents Prepare For Start of Virtual Classes

The fall semester starts Monday, Aug. 31, and for the first time ever, classes will begin entirely online

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Long lines of cars formed along Wilson Lane In Bethesda, Maryland, Thursday as parents and students went to pick up laptops and course material at Thomas Pyle Middle School. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Montgomery County Public School students are staying home for the fall semester, and classes will be held virtually.

"I think it's a fantastic way to deal with the current situation," said parent David Browning, though he worries about other areas that don't have the funds to equip entire school districts with the same type of technology.

Some students beat the traffic backups today by riding their bikes to Thomas Pyle Middle. News4 spoke with seventh grader Sonny Eckerton, who was looking forward to in-person learning.

"I'm not happy about it being virtual, at home," Sonny said. "I find you can't really have the same experience at school because you can't meet your teacher and it's hard to ask questions and get full explanatory answers back."

Aarna Gunbeti is going into sixth grade, just starting middle school, and had hoped to meet new classmates and make new friends with the start of the school year.

"It's pretty disappointing, because I wanted COVID to go away," she said.

On Friday, MCPS will hold a mock school day. It will be a trial run to see how this virtual school semester will work, and to find kinks that need ironing out.

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