Smith Says He Understands Families’ Choices As MCPS Enrollment is Below Projection 

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith said fewer new students have enrolled in the school system than MCPS projected. 

On Tuesday, Smith announced that the first semester of the 2020-21 academic year, beginning Aug. 31 and ending on Jan. 21, 2021, will be virtual-only instruction. During a media briefing Wednesday he said that in October, MCPS will work with County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles to look at current information and discuss the second semester, while keeping in close touch with the school board. He said by the beginning of November MCPS will be able to determine if it can begin to put strategies and systems in place that would allow for a blended learning model at the start of the second semester, which begins Feb. 1, 2021. 

At the briefing, Smith said MCPS was expecting over 2,500 new students by the end of August. As of July 1, only about 300 K-12 new students had been enrolled.

Smith said he knows different families have different circumstances, and he’s sure some will choose not to enroll their children in MCPS. 

“I understand that whatever choices parents have to make, that I hope they have good options available for their children, I hope their children learn and grow and develop and have a strong sense of well-being during this time,” he said. 

“And I will support any and every parent that chooses to be part of Montgomery County Public Schools and will wish the very, very best for every other family, no matter what they choose.”

For families who may not be able to engage in education during typical school-day hours, Smith said MCPS is continuing to develop its virtual platform to accommodate live education as well as similar engagement during other hours of the day.

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