2022 | Schools

Four more MCPS schools temporarily going virtual after COVID-19 review

Westover Elementary’s autism program also in group tabbed for virtual classes

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Four more Montgomery County schools will shift to 10 days of virtual classes due to the effects of COVID-19, the school district announced on Thursday.

The autism program at Westover Elementary School will also move to the 10-day virtual format, according to the message from MCPS.

The affected schools are:

• Harmony Hills Elementary School
• A. Mario Loiederman Middle School
• Pine Crest Elementary School
• Wheaton Woods Elementary School.

The schools will move to virtual classes beginning on Monday. They are scheduled to reopen on Feb. 10.

The last group of 16 schools to shift to virtual classes are scheduled to return to buildings on Monday.

During a school board meeting earlier this month, district leaders detailed the different points they would evaluate to determine if a school building should temporarily close.

The points include:

• The number of cases of COVID-19 in the past 10 days
• The number of student absences
• The number of employee absences and how they will affect school operations
• The number of unfilled substitute requests
• The school community’s perspective on the ability to safely and effectively operate.

MCPS’ community message on Thursday did not detail why each of the schools was chosen to move to virtual classes. In the past, each school has sent a separate message to its community members explaining the decision in more detail.

When schools are identified for closure, the district leaves them up to two business days to prepare for the transition, during which students remain in in-person classes. It is important, MCPS leaders said, to allow families time to plan, obtain child care and take care of other needs.