2021 | Schools

School Notes: Board of Education to review reopening plan on Tuesday

Plus: Parent group pushes for in-person classes

School board will review reopening plan, resource officer program on Tuesday

The Montgomery County Board of Education is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to decide whether school buildings can begin reopening as planned on Feb. 1.

The school board on Dec. 15 finalized a plan that outlines a phased return to school buildings. The plan relies on improved COVID-19 metrics that have been trending poorly in recent months.

During Tuesday’s meeting, set to begin at 11 a.m., the school board will determine whether the benchmarks it has set can be met by Feb. 1 to allow buildings to begin reopening.

Some school board members and county health officials said this week it is not likely.

The school board is also expected to discuss the school resource officer program.

The board last year began a review of the program last year after calls for the removal of police from schools.

MCPS will provide an update on Tuesday about the progress of the review.

Parent group pushes for in-person classes

A group of 10,000 parents from counties across the state, including Montgomery County, this week sent a letter to state leaders pushing for in-person classes.

The letter says Gov. Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon should “immediately” change the state’s school reopening guidelines “to prioritize school reopenings now.”

The parents cited an increase in students’ social isolation, learning loss and depression as reasons schools should reopen.

“It is painfully obvious that political forces are having a larger impact on determining our students’ education than the scientific evidence,” the group wrote.

Montgomery County Public Schools has been closed for in-person classes since mid-March and has been criticized for setting data benchmarks for reopening that some have called unattainable.

Parents from Montgomery, Frederick, Baltimore, Howard, Charles and Harford Counties signed the letter, which was sent to state officials on Tuesday.