About 2,000 MCPS Students Did Not Log Into Online Platforms Last Week

About 2,000 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students did not log into myMCPS Classroom or Zoom last week. 

Most students have successfully logged into virtual classes, Chief Technology Officer Pete Cevenini said at a school board meeting Tuesday. However 2,149 students, or about 1% of total students, did not log in last week. That is a slight improvement from the week before when 2,196 students did not log in. During the first week of school, 4,349 students, or about 3% of total students, did not access myMCPS Classroom or Zoom. 

About 53% of students who did not log into virtual classes last week are Hispanic and about 19% are African American, compared to 14% white and 5% Asian students. School teams are working hard to get all students connected, Cevenini said. Under the virtual learning model, the attendance requirement is fulfilled via Zoom or myMCPS Classroom. 

MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith said student enrollment this school year is significantly lower than last year. This year there are 162,342 MCPS students enrolled as of Sept. 13. This count is unofficial because enrollment is ongoing. Student enrollment last year was 165,267 as of Sept. 30, 2019. Smith said no elementary schools met enrollment projections, all middle schools met or slightly exceeded projections and most high schools came slightly under projections, with some going slightly over. 

More students transferred out of MCPS to private schools this year. Last year, 908 transferred, and this year 1,120 did, said Sean McGee, director of learning, achievement and administration. 

School Board Member Jeanette Dixon highlighted another statistic: homeschooling. 

She pointed out that last year 51 students withdrew from MCPS to start homeschooling, but this year 984 students did. She asked if it was safe to conclude those families did not want to engage in virtual learning. Superintendent Smith said yes. 

“I certainly would draw that conclusion,” Smith said.

“My hope is that they come back to us when we’re not in an all-virtual environment.” During the meeting Smith emphasized the bizarre circumstances everyone is in and reminded board members to keep pushing through and figure out how to keep things improving. 

“No one would choose this. No one did choose this situation. It has been thrust upon all of us,” he said. 

“We just have to keep thinking about what’s working, what’s not working and how to make it better in this very unusual circumstance that none of us have experienced before, because none of us in this conversation right now were alive in 1918, which is kind of the closest thing to this.”

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Maryam Shahzad

About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in December with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. Maryam loves visual media and always says the movie is better than the book. She can be reached at mshahzad@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.

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