Support of Full-Time In-Person Instruction in MCPS Virginia

Support of Full-Time In-Person Instruction in MCPS Virginia

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Anonymous Parent started this petition to Parents

We are advocating that all families/students be given the choice to attend full-time, in person, in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Virginia, beginning in January 2021, as long as all CDC guiding principles and mitigation strategies can be followed. The majority of survey respondents of parents of children who are currently in hybrid (61%) are interested in full-time, in person, with an additional 18% in support depending on COVID levels.

There has been no evidence that the transmission of COVID has taken place within MCPS schools. Spread has been contained at the community level. Further, we trust that MCPS has and can continue to follow all CDC guiding principles and mitigation strategies to effectively prevent the exposure and transmission of COVID.

The hybrid remote-in-person approach has been appreciated, but it’s simply not enough. Many children are falling through the cracks and “getting lost” in a number of ways. First, there is an expanding body of research showing that depression, anxiety and suicides are increasing among youth largely due to a feeling of social isolation. Concerns about emotional well-being and stress and anxiety were also reflected in the survey results. Second, many children are not thriving with the current educational model. In grades 6 to 12 alone, Fs have increased by 151% in MCPS. Staggering increases were also noted in Ds and Us for younger grades.

We firmly believe that transitioning to full-time, in-person will improve students’ well-being, decrease anxiety and stress levels, and improve academic progress. We also believe this can be done in a manner to support teachers’ safety and well-being.

We continue to be concerned about the long-term well-being of our children, as well as the economic and health well-being of our larger community. Children need to be physically in school full-time.

The following continue to be critical factors in support of expanding to full-time, in-person instruction.  

  • effective, time-tested education that matches most students’ learning styles 
  • in-person interaction that more naturally allows for the teacher to assess students’ grasp of information and academic progress through non-verbal cues (not always possibly remotely, especially if video-conferencing is turned off)
  • higher accountability of students   
  • direct support for students with low digital literacy 
  • teacher oversight of the learning process/class, particularly for students who may not have adult supervision at home, helping to ensure equity and the prevention of educational disparities
  • social development and the feeling of belonging 
  • mental health (to prevent depression, isolation, suicide, other)
  • opportunities for easy access to free meals
  • availability of extracurricular activities, including approved athletic activities following VHSL standards and CDC guidelines 
  • other social services (such as therapeutic day treatment and other school based clinical services) and resources for children in need 
  • to allow for working parents to smoothly balance work and school expectations, and not force some parents to have to choose between work and (managing) school for their child(ren) 

Each family has the choice of in-person or remote to match their own level of risk, comfort, or fear. They may also transition from in-person to remote as needed. We believe that all families should have these options available to them.  

Please give each of us the option to decide what is best for our child(ren). 

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