2021 | Schools

School Notes: MCPS urges students to get COVID-19 test after spring break travel

Plus: Bayard Rustin principal wins Edward Shirley award

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MCPS urges students to get COVID-19 test before returning to schools after spring break

Montgomery County Public Schools leaders are urging students who travel during spring break to get a COVID-19 test before returning to the classroom next week.

In a message before the weeklong break, the district first asked families and students to not travel, but if they did, they should get a test to “limit the possible spread of COVID-19 in our schools.”

To aid with the effort, the district postponed its next phase of reopening by two days, from April 6 to April 8.

All students in the district will take classes virtually on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Thursday, the 20,000 students who have already returned to schools will head back, joined by the next group of about 20,000 students in pre-kindergarten, fourth through sixth grade, high school seniors, and career and technical education programs.

The next phase includes remaining career programs, pre-kindergarten, fourth through sixth grade, and high school seniors.

The final group of students — seventh to 11th grade — is scheduled to return April 19.

About 60,000 students in total chose to return to buildings this school year. The remaining 100,000 will continue with fully virtual classes.

Bayard Rustin principal wins Edward Shirley award

Rachel DuBois, principal of Bayard Rustin Elementary School in Rockville, was recently named the winner of the Dr. Edward Shirley Award for Excellence in Educational Administration and Supervision.

The award is presented annually by the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP) to an administrator who “exemplifies outstanding leadership and accomplishments in purposeful leadership, instructional or systemwide leadership, human resources development, resource management, interpersonal skills, professional involvement, and community and stakeholder involvement,” according to a press release from MCPS.

DuBois has worked in education for 21 years, and was the principal of Piney Branch Elementary School for six years before being appointed to lead Bayard Rustin when it opened in 2018.

In its press release, MCPS wrote that DuBois is a role model for inclusivity and “works hard to ensure every student, staff member and family feels a sense of belonging.”

She also works to foster a positive school culture, MCPS wrote.

“She has an extraordinary ability to intrinsically motivate students and has built relationships that reflect the philosophy that every student needs a champion in their lives,” MCPS wrote. “She is a champion for children, and she demonstrates this through instructional leadership that ensures that staff have the resources and professional development they need to continue to serve students well.”

DuBois will be recognized during an MCAAP meeting in May.