The Latest on Coronavirus
The message below was emailed to staff on Wednesday, March 11, with the latest information on the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Dear MCPS Staff,
Thank you for your continued work in service of our students during these concerning times. We are in discussion daily with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) about the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on Montgomery County and Montgomery County Public Schools, specifically. At the direction of DHHS, we are not closing schools at this time. County health officials continue to share with the district that they believe there is a low health risk for our schools and have determined that schools should remain open as normal at this time and instruction should continue as usual.
We are, however, planning for the possibility of school closures, both short and long-term. Yesterday, a team of educators from each bargaining unit—SEIU, MCEA and MCAAP—met to discuss the provision of educational materials and resources in the event of a closure and how they might be implemented. This team will continue to meet over the coming days and weeks to finalize these plans.
Many of you have emailed and called central office with questions regarding leave for emergency closing of schools and facilities. If schools and facilities are closed, the procedures for processing leave and pay would be the same as inclement weather closures. If DHHS determines that schools and facilities need to be closed for longer periods of time that are not envisioned in a normal academic year, the issue would be further discussed with our unions. We will provide you with updated guidance when that information is finalized.
We also are working closely with DHHS to ensure the safety and well-being of staff members and students. As the number of coronavirus cases increases in our region, we are asking all staff to be vigilant with preventive measures, such as hand-washing and disinfecting shared work spaces. If a staff member has been in contact with or was in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, we are working very closely with DHHS to determine if that employee needs to self-quarantine. Additional guidance, including who to call, can be found here.
In addition, effective Monday, March 16, all out-of-state field trips and non-essential employee travel will be suspended until further notice.
We pledge to keep you informed as this situation evolves.
Montgomery County Public Schools