All Schools Scheduled to Reopen Monday, Jan. 3

December 30, 2021

Dear MCPS Community,

As we prepare to open schools on Monday, we have four “asks” of our community.  We are committed to serving our students in as safe an environment as possible, but we need your help.  Please do your part.  

  • Continue to report positive cases.
    If your child tests positive, please report it to MCPS using this form.  Beginning Monday, January 3, you may call your child’s school if you are not able to submit the information electronically.

  • Get a COVID-19 test prior to returning to school if possible.
    Check with your healthcare provider, local clinic, pharmacy or the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to identify where and how to have your children tested.

  • Keep children home if they have any symptoms of illness and get them tested for COVID-19.
    It’s important that students don't spread their illness to others. Please keep them home when they are sick and have them tested for COVID-19 as an extra precaution.

  • Say Yes to the Test.
    Parents must give their permission for in-school testing and they can do so by completing this form.  For more details, please visit our "Say Yes to the Test" website.   

We recognize that COVID-19 positive cases are rising in Montgomery County and across the country.  The decision to open all schools was made after careful consideration and ongoing collaboration with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  As we work to ensure the safety of our students, staff, family, and community members we are implementing additional mitigation measures in the coming days. 

Home rapid test kits for all students and staff
This morning we learned that the Montgomery County Government will be providing at-home rapid test kits for all students and staff over the next two weeks.  All families will be asked to administer the tests to their children and then report any positive test results.  More details about the distribution of these test kits will be provided next week.  

Masks for staff members
All staff members will receive KN-95 masks during the week of January 3.  

In-school testing for students continues
We will be increasing the amount of screening tests for students who do not have symptoms and focus on schools with higher rates of cases.  In addition, we will continue to provide free COVID-19 testing in schools for students – rapid testing in school health rooms for students who have symptoms and weekly screening tests for those who do not have symptoms.

Current quarantine guidelines still in effect
In accordance with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and DHHS, MCPS will continue to use the same quarantine guidelines announced in November until further guidance is provided from the Maryland Department of Health. Individuals who test positive will need to continue to isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or 10 days from the date of the positive test for asymptomatic cases.  While the Centers for Disease Control released a media statement earlier this week regarding changes to their isolation and quarantine guidance, MDH has not yet adopted these guidance changes. 

Criteria for transitioning to virtual learning
We are continuing to monitor cases on a daily basis.  As we shared earlier, if 5 percent or more of unrelated students/teachers/staff (minimum of 10 of these individuals) tests positive in a 14-day period, a determination will be made as to whether the school should be closed for 14 calendar days and transition to virtual instruction. Please note that the 5 percent threshold does not automatically result in school closure; the primary factor to consider will be the level of the spread of the virus in the school. MCPS central office staff will work with DHHS in making this decision, and parents/guardians at the school will be notified when this occurs.

Thank you for your support as we prepare for the first day of school in 2022!

Montgomery County Public Schools

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