MCPS initiatives that you need to know about


Photo courtesy of MCPS

MCPS has been launching a number of new initiatives to support the everyday lives of people in the county. But what are they and how do they help students?

MCPS launched a number of new initiatives to address issues and ensure the safety of the community. Recent initiatives include the Antiracism Audit that is entering a new phase, the Board of Education approval of online learning on snow days, the updated mask mandate that went into effect immediately, free tutoring offered to all students on and in-school covid vaccination clinics for certain schools.

Snowdays Going Virtual
With the debate of having virtual school on snow days, MCPS approved inclement weather virtual learning with a decision of 7 – 1, one being Student Member of the Board of Education Hana O’Looney. O’Looney sent out her monthly SMOB email and explained that MCPS will now conduct virtual learning on a case by case basis, at least 24 hours in advance. But, this decision also only pertains to 2021-2022 school year.

“If there is enough snow, MCPS staff knows that snow days are important experiences,” O’Looney said.

Updated Mask Mandate
On Mar. 8, the BOE voted to make wearing masks optional in MCPS. This decision went into effect immediately. But staff and students who want to keep wearing masks can, and schools will still provide masks to those who need them. MCPS conveyed the “On or Off, It’s Just Me. Be Kind and Respect my Mask Choice” message to reinforce respect for everyone’s choices on whether to wear a mask or not.

“We have vulnerable individuals in our homes and we are vulnerable individuals. Therefore, we need to respect individual decisions to wear or not wear a mask,” principal Jennifer Baker said.

Vaccination Clinics
Currently, MCPS is partnering up with the MCPS Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Care For Your Health to offer some free vaccination clinics for children at schools and county sites. Registration is necessary due to the high demand for vaccines. The next dates will be on Saturday, Mar. 12 at Wheaton High School and Sunday, Mar. 13 at Gaithersburg High School both from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The location of schools giving out vaccinations had higher positive rates because the decision to host vaccination clinics or not is based on the rate of positivity. We were high at one point but weren’t consistently that high like other schools like Blair, so we probably won’t have one,” school nurse Ki Nam Kim said.