‘More and More Likely’ Schools Will Be Closed for School Year, MCPS Superintendent Says

“Maryland has not closed all of its schools for the rest of the school year, but that seems more and more likely,” Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith said at a virtual county council meeting Monday. 

On April 17, State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced that Maryland public schools will remain closed through May 15 during a press conference with Gov. Larry Hogan. Smith said he expects another decision by the end of the week or early next week, as Maryland schools are currently scheduled to reopen in two weeks on May 18. 

“It’s pretty likely that’s not going to happen,” Smith said about students going back to school. 

On Sunday, MCPS released its criteria for middle and high school students to earn a “pass” grade in the fourth quarter. MCPS will not grade students using the traditional letter system. Instead, a pass/incomplete system will be used for secondary students, and elementary school students won’t be graded.  

Secondary students must meet two of these measures to pass: complete at least 50 percent of assignments, show an understanding of material through grading and other rubrics, show consistent engagement like participating in virtual class activities, and be evaluated as passing by teachers’ “holistic” judgement of student performance. 

A decision about overall semester grades will be made on May 12 by the Board of Education. 

For elementary school students, teachers will focus on connecting with students and engaging them in education. 

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