MCPS is known to the rest of the nation as an exceptional school district, with dedicated educators, devoted leaders, and high-achieving students. However, as COVID-19 has raged on and forced our whole society to change, our school district appears to be struggling to adjust to these changes.
In order to figure out what MCPS has been getting so wrong, we must go back to the root causes of our county’s COVID problem. First and foremost, why was there a surge in COVID cases this January?
“The holidays were a few weeks ago [back then],” explains sophomore Jarra Secka. “People were visiting other people, and after the cases went down [at that time] people let their guards down.”
MCPS knew that this would happen, yet it obviously wasn’t prepared for the surge in cases that happened after Winter Break. The five-percent threshold for cases before a school would have to go virtual for two weeks disappeared after ¾ of schools met it.
Whenever a change in the pandemic happens, MCPS families have come to expect our school district to deflect in the worst way possible. The harsh guidelines for the return to school in the spring of last year could have been the start of this, or perhaps the delay to close schools for the rest of spring 2020. Constantly leaving students and families in the lurch regarding guidelines is no way to run a school district.
Though COVID is a constantly evolving situation, MCPS’ reactions to each new development seem to continually devolve. From schools being shut down due to “mechanical failures” to students being in lockdown with an armed peer, our school district never seems to know what to do – except play the blame game.
Has MCPS always been this broken? Or has the pandemic just exposed the cracks in our school system? Either way, MCPS students are put at risk every day due to issues such as lack of ventilation, a surge of in-school violence, and, of course, COVID.
In order to stop MCPS reactivity and promote proactivity in our county, we must all work together to hold MCPS leadership accountable and make our voices heard. If you can vote, vote. If you can’t vote, advocate for yourself and others through any means (social media, petitions, and meetings with authorities). Someone shouldn’t have to die before MCPS changes its ways.