Montgomery County Public Schools is preparing its move to online learning on March 30. Jack Smith, superintendent of MCPS, said in a video following the statewide announcement that Maryland Public Schools will remain closed through April 24, MCPS will start distributing Chromebooks to students in need starting Thursday.
In an email to families on Thursday, Smith said, “[E]ven though our school buildings are closed, Montgomery County Public Schools will continue to support student learning as well as the physical, social-emotional and psychological needs of our students.”
MCPS is also suggesting families who don’t have access to internet at home use free internet through the Comcast Internet Essentials program.
Read Smith’s Full Email About Laptop Pickup
MCPS Schools Closed Through April 24: Laptop Distribution to Begin March 26
Dear MCPS Students, Staff and Community:
Today, March 25, Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that Maryland public schools will be closed until April 24, 2020. While this news is not what we want or unexpected, it is the right thing to do as we are facing an unprecedented health crisis. We want you to know that even though our school buildings are closed, Montgomery County Public Schools will continue to support student learning as well as the physical, social-emotional and psychological needs of our students. It is important to know that this will not be the same experience students have in school buildings. However, it will provide continuity of learning while our school buildings are closed.
We know that the announcement of an extended closure will generate many questions—from the student learning experience to the school calendar. This evening, and over the next several days, we will send messages to students, staff and parents to begin addressing many of these questions and concerns.
Even though our buildings are closed, we will be proceeding with continuity of learning for our students. Part of that plan involves ensuring students with real need have access to Chromebook laptops and the internet. MCPS will begin distributing laptops to students tomorrow, Thursday, March 26. Details about this distribution are below.
We know that the state superintendent’s decision to extend this school closure is hard for our families. School is at the heart of our county and community. However, this is the right decision to ensure everyone’s safety as we combat the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Please continue to stay safe and take care of one another. We are all in this together.
Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
MCPS is providing laptops to students with a need to ensure they can access instruction from home. Laptop distribution will begin Thursday, March 26. Devices are in limited supply and are reserved for students who do not have access to a computer or laptop at home.
To pick up a laptop, students (or the parent/guardian) will need to present their student ID (or provide the student ID number). Distribution locations are organized by school level. Complete instructions as well as distribution dates, times and locations are listed below and on the MCPS Coronavirus Information website. Students and parents can also call 240-740-7023 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for information.
Important Note: For families without internet access at home, Comcast is offering free internet access through its Internet Essentials program. More information about this program is at https://internetessentials.com/. MCPS also has a limited number of mobile Wi-Fi hotspot devices that provide access to the internet. These devices will be distributed at a later date.
Distribution Dates and Times
- Thursday, March 26, 8 a.m. -11:15 a.m.: All High Schools
- Thursday, March 26, 12:45 p.m.-4 p.m.: The following elementary schools: Arcola, Glenallan, Kemp Mill, Bel Pre, Georgian Forest, Strathmore, Cashell, Judith Resnik, Sequoyah, Candlewood, Flower Hill, Mill Creek Towne, Lucy V. Barnsley, Flower Valley, Maryvale, Meadow Hall, Rock Creek Valley, Bells Mill, Seven Locks, Beverly Farms, Potomac, Wayside, Highland, Oakland Terrace, Rock View, Glen Haven, Flora M. Singer, Woodlin, Beall, College Gardens, Ritchie Park, Twinbrook, Bayard Rustin, Cloverly, Stonegate, Burtonsville, Fairland, Greencastle, Galway, William Tyler Page, Bannockburn, Bradley Hills, Burning Tree, Carderock Springs, Wood Acres
- Friday, March 27, 8 a.m.-11:15 a.m.: The following elementary schools: Capt. James Daly, Fox Chapel, Clarksburg, William B. Gibbs, Little Bennett, Cedar Grove, Snowden Farm, Wilson Wims, Belmont, Greenwood, Olney, Brooke Grove, Sherwood, Stedwick, Watkins Mill, Whetstone, South Lake, Brown Station, Rachel Carson, Fields Road, Jones Lane, Thurgood Marshall, S. Christa McAuliffe, Sally K. Ride, Lake Seneca, Waters Landing, Ashburton, Kensington Parkwood, Wyngate, Farmland, Garrett Park, Luxmanor, Goshen, Rosemont, Summit Hall, Washington Grove, Gaithersburg, Laytonsville, Strawberry Knolls, Great Seneca Creek, Ronald McNair, Spark M. Matsunaga, Darnestown, Diamond, Clopper Mill, Germantown
- Friday, March 27, 12:45 p.m.-4 p.m.: The following elementary schools: Montgomery Knolls, New Hampshire Estates, Oak View, Pine Crest, Takoma Park, Piney Branch, Harmony Hills, Chevy Chase, North Chevy Chase, Rock Creek Forest, Rosemary Hills, Bethesda, Somerset, Westbrook, East Silver Spring, Forest Knolls, Highland View, Rolling Terrace, Sligo Creek, Brookhaven, Sargent Shriver, Viers Mill, Weller Road, Wheaton Woods, Cold Spring, Stone Mill, Dufief, Fallsmead, Lakewood, Travilah, Clearspring, Damascus, Lois P. Rockwell, Woodfield, Monocacy, Poolesville, Burnt Mills, Cannon Road, Cresthaven, Dr. Charles Drew, Roscoe Nix, Jackson Road, Broad Acres/Leleck, Westover
Where Should Families Pick Up Laptops?
- High School Students: Pick up at the school that the student attends.
- Middle School Students: Pick up at an elementary school close to your home (use the School assignment locator if you do not know which elementary school is assigned to your community).
- Elementary School Students: Pick up at the school that the student attends.
- Students in Specific Programs: If the student is in a magnet or Choice program, a regional special education program (such as School Community Based or Learning For Independence), or in a program at any of the sites listed below, a laptop can be picked up from any elementary school close to your home.
- Carl Sandburg Learning Center
- Rock Terrace School
- Stephen Knolls School
- Longview School
- Blair G. Ewing Center (Plum Orchard, Avery Road and Cloverleaf sites)
- MacDonald Knolls Early Childhood Center
- Upcounty Early Childhood Center at Emory Grove
- If you are unsure of where to go, use the School assignment locator to find the elementary school in your neighborhood
- We strongly encourage that an adult accompany any student who wishes to pick up a laptop.
- If you are unable to pick up a laptop during the distribution days, MCPS will provide information on additional opportunities for laptop pick up in the coming days.
Instructions for Parents/Students for Distribution Day
- If you are in a car, please hold up the student ID or write the student ID number on a piece of paper big enough so that staff can read it through your car window or from six feet away.
- The staff person will record your student ID number and assign you a laptop.
- If you walk up to the distribution site, please have the student ID or ID number ready. The staff person will record your student ID number and assign you a laptop.
- Remember to follow social distancing guidelines when you come to pick up a laptop (keep six feet between people). Please follow directions from MCPS staff who will be helping to manage traffic.
- Students provided laptops will be subject to the Notification of Laptop Responsibilities form (see linked document).