Montgomery County public school system launches remote learning Monday

Montgomery County Public School leaders cautioned parents and students to have patience as Maryland’s largest and most diverse public school system launched remote learning on Monday for its more than 165,000 students.

The school system is working its way into virtual learning and issued estimated timelines for the county’s Elementary, Middle and High School students. MCPS launched their emote learning program on Monday with the anticipation of grading remaining third marking period assignments.

For those in Elementary School, Monday and Tuesday (March 30  and 31) were planned as days for parents and students to get familiar with the remote learning program, myMCPS Classroom. Parents were advised to get signed in and receive instruction. The students are not expected to make contact with their teachers until Wednesday. Then on Thursday, students will begin virtual learning.

There is a bit of a difference for middle and high schoolers. Those older students are expected to explore tutorials posted on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday, MCPS leaders say teachers should be making contact with students and going over remaining Third Marking Period assignments.

MCPS is still reviewing how grading will go moving forward. Still, MCPS Spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala did confirm grades will be assigned for the Third Marking Period, which ends on April 17th.

MCPS also announced some schedule changes. Remote learning will continue on April 6, 7 and 8. However, remote learning will not be held during April 9th to the 13th due to a state holiday.

“I appreciate that MCPS is trying their best to think about how to continue learning. Um, but we have four children. Three of them are at different schools. I have one child whose in Special Education,” said Michele Jawando as she was trying to get her elementary-school daughter to sit down so they could look through myMCPS Classroom instructions.

Jawando is the wife of Montgomery County Councilmember, Will Jawando.

“I think people should give themselves grace.  Recognize that this is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. I think we should also recognize that this isn’t our skill set so we don’t’ have to feel an inordinate amount of pressure to get it right,” said Michele Jawando, encouraging everyone to do their best.

MCPS leaders say kindergarten to second grade might experience an hour-in-a-half to two hours of learning with this program. The older elementary school students may experience two to three hours. Parents were told not to expect the some 6 hour learning day students and parents are used to.

Onijala tells FOX 5 if any parents have a school-specific question about their child’s classes, their school’s principal is the best person to contact. If the parent has a more general question about the plans and resources MCPS is providing, they can contact the AskMCPS at: (240) 740-3000.

In the second week of remote learning, MCPS is planning to provide students with printed learning packets that will be distributed at the designated MCPS food distribution sites.