MCPS Provides Employees with 45 Day Notice for Possible Return to In-Person Instruction

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September 25, 2020
MCS Staff

MCPS Provides Employees with 45 Day Notice for Possible Return to In-Person, In-Building Instruction

In a letter sent by MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith to employees, the school system has provided the previously agreed upon 45 days notice for a possible return to in-person, in-building instruction.

As you will see in the letter below, MCPS makes it clear that “this does not mean that in-person instruction will begin in 45 days. Instead, it means that we can reopen impact bargaining and do more in-depth collaborative planning for the eventual return to instruction in buildings.”

MCPS adds that “We know that this news may cause apprehension for some people. Please know that the safety of our students and staff is the top priority for us. MCPS is working with county health officials, and we are all closely following state and local health metrics to guide our timing for a phased-in return.”

Full letter below:

 

Dear Colleagues:

 

We want to first and foremost share our deep appreciation for all you have done, and continue to do, to support our students in these unprecedented times. There is no question that virtual learning has been difficult for students and staff alike. However, it is also important to acknowledge that virtual learning is an essential part of the statewide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe.

 

We recognize that there have been a number of recent actions at the state level and in surrounding school systems regarding groups of students returning to in-person, in-building instruction. As a result, we write today to share our plans for our continued work together to thoughtfully assess and define appropriate steps for the safe return of some groups of staff and students.

 

While not perfect, the virtual-only learning model has provided a solid foundation that meets the needs of many. This foundation is the product of the dedication and hard work of every staff member in our district. However, we also recognize that virtual learning cannot replace the in-person educational experience for our students. When health and safety conditions allow, we will begin a phased transition back to in-person instruction to ensure all students have the access and opportunity they need to reach their full potential while maintaining student and staff safety.

 

We have been working together over the last several weeks to begin exploring strategies for an in-person return. There is mutual interest to ensure enough time to jointly develop a comprehensive plan for the eventual return to in-person instruction. Thus, today MCPS formally provided employee associations the minimum 45-day notice required by our agreements to legally honor and preserve timelines. To be clear, this does not mean that in-person instruction will begin in 45 days. Instead, it means that we can reopen impact bargaining and do more in-depth collaborative planning for the eventual return to instruction in buildings.

 

We know that this news may cause apprehension for some people. Please know that the safety of our students and staff is the top priority for us. MCPS is working with county health officials, and we are all closely following state and local health metrics to guide our timing for a phased-in return.

 

We will continue to work together to build on the ideas and framework for an eventual return to in-person instruction that are included in our Fall 2020 Recovery plan. There is much more to be considered, examined and decided before in-person learning can begin. We will continue to gather input from stakeholders throughout the process. We welcome all of your feedback. We will continue to provide regular updates as we move forward in this effort.

 

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to our students.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jack Smith Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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3 Comments

  1. Kamilla Feys on September 26, 2020 at 6:27 am

    Western Massachusetts would provide you with game plan for back to school instruction. They installed shields on every desk with simple design, as well as shields at every teacher’s desk. I’ll be happy to provide you with pictures of the classroom design.

    • Bob on September 26, 2020 at 11:48 am

      This isn’t Western Massachusetts. We have overcrowded classrooms to begin with. There is no evidence “shields” work to reduce exposure to airborne contaminants. Students will be eating together without masks on. Sending students back is a huge mistake. Moreover, it’s disruptive. Special needs students may not be learning over computers but other students are doing just as well as they would in class. If they need to shut down schools again there is going to be a huge disruption when they should have stuck with what’s working.

      • Mdeblock. on September 28, 2020 at 7:41 am

        Other student ARE NOT DOING JUST AS WELL. what planet are you on?? Even the brightest most dedicated students are becoming disengaged. Wake up.

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