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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Maryam Shahzad

About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. She can be reached at or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.


3 Responses to “Smith Says He Understands Families’ Choices As MCPS Enrollment is Below Projection ”

  1. Avatar
    On July 23, 2020 at 3:51 pm responded with... #

    I wonder what the enrollment numbers are at the private schools, are they up, flat, or down.

  2. Avatar
    On July 26, 2020 at 9:51 pm responded with... #

    What is supposed to happen for the kindergarten students who have never had virtual learning? What about no connection to the teacher??? Something has to be done and I have an idea.

  3. Avatar
    On August 13, 2020 at 10:26 am responded with... #

    I am a grandmother of 5 and supposed to be in the high risk category for COVID.

    I have no desire to sacrifice my grandchildren’s well being and education, something I enjoyed growing up, for the tiny possibility I may contract the disease from them. My daughter with only 2 small children was exhausted with her job and trying to get the older one on line for virtual learning. She is not getting paid to do this, this is not her profession. No one seems to be asking high risk people if they want their grandchildren to be depressed, unhappy, and lacking an education.

    Of course this is a devastating disease, who could argue that? For MCPS in July to make a blanket judgment about conditions in November is not even rational, and it makes it look like there is an agenda in play. Now even private schools are allowed to go back to school with proper precautions in the county, so why the obvious discrepancy? Aren’t we all created equal?

    You must reconsider this, there are unforeseen devastating consequences for society, and for the teaching profession.

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