MCPS’ Remote Learning: Here’s What You Need to Know

MCPS will initiate the first phase of a virtual, self-paced model of learning, Monday, March 30, as schools remain closed through at least April 24. 

Monday and Tuesday are reserved for staff to become acquainted with the tools they will use for remote instruction. Staff will use the two days to reconnect with students and plan schedules for teaching, assignments and grading that will be followed until the end of the extended third marking period April 17. Students are tasked with exploring online tutorials on using myMCPS and Google Classrooms during this time. 

Online teaching and learning will certainly begin by Wednesday, April 1, but instruction may resume Monday or Tuesday.  

Teachers are expected to be interacting with their students through mediums like email, Google Classroom, myMCPS Classroom/Portal and possibly cell phone applications like Remind. It is also likely that teachers will conduct live instruction sessions or “check-ins” via video call applications like Zoom.

While this remote learning is a deviation from usual classroom instruction, the gradebook will reopen and students will be expected to complete and turn in assignments of a high caliber by the teacher-specified due date. 

Students must ensure they remain in contact with their teachers and are cognizant of their teachers’ expectations for remotely completing and submitting assignments. Likewise, teachers have been instructed to make themselves available via several channels of online communication should students have questions or concerns. 

As closures have been extended, MCPS has decided to take back April 6, 7 and 8 as instructional days, meaning spring break will now occur April 9-13. 

More information regarding remote learning can be found here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/coronavirus/continuity-of-learning/ and https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/publicinfo/community/school-year-2019-2020/coronavirus-update-community-20200327.html. Families should have also received email updates from MCPS and/or a robocall update from Principal Bob Sinclair Sunday, March 29. 

With regards to AP exams, College Board Senior Vice President and Head of AP and Instruction Trevor Packer confirmed that this year’s modified exams will also be “open book.” In the College Board’s last update, it was announced 2020 AP exams would be 45-minute exams consisting entirely of free response questions to be taken online, at home, on one of two testing dates. Should this pose a challenge to students, they can cancel their exams at no additional charge. 

Many colleges have assured students they will take into account these changes as well as cancellations of SAT and ACT administrations. More information regarding AP exams is expected April 3. 

There are no new updates regarding prom or graduation. 

As this transition may be stressful and pose logistical challenges for some, teachers and students are reminded to remain flexible and take steps to ensure social and emotional well-being. Students are encouraged to utilize tools from MCPS’ Be Well 365 program. Details can be accessed here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/studentservices/wellbeing/index-new.aspx

Make sure to stay connected, alert, and healthy during this transition, Bengals. We hope to see you soon and will continue to provide you with updates to remote learning, AP administration and special events.