2021 | Schools

Registration open for MCPS virtual academy

Plus: Richard Montgomery student wins Gaithersburg Book Festival poetry contest

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Registration open for MCPS virtual academy

Registration for Montgomery County Public Schools’ virtual academy opened Wednesday and is available through July 2.

The virtual academy, called “Montgomery Virtual,” will start in the fall and run the length of the academic year, allowing students who have lingering health concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic to continue taking classes remotely.

For elementary and middle school students, enrollment is limited to those with documented health concerns (or whose family members have health concerns) that necessitate distance learning. High school students can enroll for the same reasons and to accommodate work or dual enrollment course schedules.

According to the registration form, students younger than 12 must be supervised by an adult at all times during the school day. All students enrolled in the program must maintain a permanent residence in Montgomery County.

The “virtual academy” will be a yearlong, all-virtual option available to students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Students who apply and are accepted into the program will remain enrolled as students at their “home schools,” but will take all of their classes online. Students will be allowed to participate in in-person sports and extracurricular activities, and receive meals, at their home schools.

Students will be expected to remain enrolled in the virtual academy for the entire academic year, but can request to transfer back into their school at designated times. Elementary and middle school students can make the request at the end of each marking period, while high school students can request the transfer at the end of each semester.

Richard Montgomery student wins Gaithersburg Book Festival poetry contest

Richard Montgomery High School senior Arushi Singh was recently named the first-place winner of the Gaithersburg Book Festival’s annual poetry contest.

Singh, whose poem was titled “Leaking Memories,” received a $250 award from Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County.

To be eligible for the contest, students had to be enrolled in a public or private school, or be homeschooled in Maryland, Virginia or D.C.

Caroline Dinh, a senior at Richard Montgomery, placed second for her poem “Social Cues.”
Charlotte Lucas, a freshman at Walter Johnson High School, placed third for her poem “Or.”

The “Fan Favorite” award was given to Holly Keegan, a junior at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Potomac, for her poem “Rest.”

McKnight ‘profoundly grateful to be a part of the MCPS community’

In a welcome message to MCPS families this week, Acting Superintendent Monifa McKnight shared sentiments of gratitude and pride for the district.

McKnight assumed her new role on Tuesday after Superintendent Jack Smith retired.

In her message, McKnight wrote that she first began working in MCPS 20 years ago and was “profoundly grateful to be a part of the MCPS community.”

“I hold those same feelings — of great admiration for our students and deep connection with our school family — close to me today as I have the honor of writing to you as the acting superintendent of MCPS,” McKnight wrote. “Every day that I have worked in MCPS — as a classroom teacher, staff development teacher, assistant principal, principal and central office administrator — the key ingredient to our school system’s record of success has become clearer: MCPS is a great school system because we have great people.”

She encouraged staff members to rest in the summer, and said she will write a follow-up message soon “with my plans for positioning MCPS to prosper in the year ahead.”

The full message is available on the MCPS website.