MCPS - Stop Stalling!
MCPS - Stop Stalling!
Why this petition matters
In December, MCPS announced a mew metric - if 5% or more students/staff test positive within a 14 day period, the school will be looked at and a 14 day virtual learning period will be considered.
By January 4th, 11 schools hit the 5% metric, and transitioned to a 14 day virtual learning period.
By the end of the January 5th school day, we went from 11 schools in the "red" - having hit the 5% metric - to 126 schools in the red, and only 8 below 3%. We went from 5% of schools in the red to 60% of schools, in less than a week.
What happened after that? Did we receive any acknowledgement from MCPS about this huge spike in cases? Any information on their process, or what would happen to the additional 115 schools? The answer, which I'm sure you're aware of, is no.
In fact, MCPS has actively gone back on affirmations to provide information to students, staff, and parents. Interim Superintendent Monifa McKnight commented on Tuesday of last week that, by 7pm every day, MCPS would post an update on positive cases and the percentage status/color for every school. However, this information ceased to be updated as of Thursday. Instead, we received only a report on the number of new cases reported per day - no comments on updated percentages or the status of schools. While many have taken it upon them to do the calculations themselves, the fact remains that MCPS has reneged on their commitments to the community, and that this format obscures the reality of the situation. MCPS has even gone so far as to deny this promise, spokesperson Chris Cram relaying that McKnight's staff denied her statement - which is on video and readily accessible (See the Bethesda Magazine's article on the topic for the video and additional information).
MCPS has not only reneged on information, however - at 12:30 on January 7th, they released a community update stating that they will no longer use the 5% metric to determine if a school will take a 14 day virtual learning period, and instead "examine schools on a case-by-case basis." This decision only removes even more transparency from the already-unclear process, and deflects accountability from MCPS. As of 4pm on January 6th, MCPS has 12,086 cases of COVID among students and staff, a number that's only bound to increase, and they have refused transparency and accountability for their actions.
With rising COVID cases across the nation, hospitals reaching capacity, and new variants sweeping the world, we cannot afford inaction. We cannot afford to be kept in the dark. We must stand up for our safety and the safety of our communities.
Students, staff, parents - are you willing to let this pass by unchecked? Are you willing to allow MCPS to continuously put its students and staff in danger? Is this a precedent you are willing to live with?
Demand accountability; don't let these trespasses pass unnoticed. Demand transparency; don't allow obfuscation or denial. Demand that our safety be taken seriously, and hold MCPS to their commitments.