Reopening 2020

reopening 2020

The page will be used to provide updates as MCPS staff, students, parents, and teachers begin move toward re-opening schools on September 8, 2020. 

approved reopening plan

This page was last updated on August 6, 2020.

August 6, 2020
Message to Families

Good evening MCPS! The first day of school will be here before we know it. Just like we want our buildings to be safe for our students on Day 1, we also want our teachers to be prepared to educate our students. You can help us with this by letting us know which education model you would like your student enrolled in by Monday, August 17. If you completed the Google Form that was sent out in June, your student is good to go. If you want to modify that selection, you can contact the school directly on Monday. 

Notification by August 17 will help us ensure that your child is in the correct place (in person, remote, virtual school) on the first day of school. This helps with class lists, lunch counts, and special services that students receive. We are working to make all of our learning options as robust as possible. Having accurate counts of where students will be will help that process. If you need to make a change after August 17, your school will notify you when that change will be finalized. 

If you plan for your child to not be at school on their first day of school, you should notify your school that your child will be remote. Students who are remote may return earlier than when schools fully re-open. Students who are remote and wish to move to in person after the first day of school will have to follow their school’s re-entry plan. Class schedules and transportation will need to be evaluated before the child can return to school in person. MCPS is working with schools to craft the re-entry plan and timeline. 

Please note that some class lists or teacher assignments may need to change as students move around. Your school will notify you if there is a change in your child’s class assignment. 

Please take some time this weekend to think about the education model that will work best for your student and your family on the first day of school. Thank you for your help as we get ready for another year of learning.

July 24, 2020
Message to Families

The approved MCPS Reopening Plan for 2020-2021 is now available. 

Reopening Plan (Google Doc)

Reopening Plan (.pdf)

The 2020-2021 School Calendar will be finalized after the August 4 School Board meeting.  The first day of school is set for Tuesday, September 8, 2020. 

You can expect additional information and communication about how the reopening plan will be implemented in our schools.  

July 22, 2020
Social Media Post

Wondering how the School Board voted about various decision points in the Reopening Plan? ⠀

Summary Doc -⠀

Results Showing the Breakdown for Each Decision Point -

The remaining calendar items will be decided at the August 4 School Board meeting.

July 21, 2020
Social Media Post

A quick overview of the Reopening decisions made by the School Board tonight. The first day of school will be on Tuesday, September 8. We will start with the schedules as publicized - elementary students attending half-day schedules and secondary students attending on rotating AM/PM half days. .

More detailed information, including an updated Reopening Plan, will be sent out on Wednesday afternoon.

reopening guidelines

July 19, 2020
Message to Families

The MCPS Reopening Plan was updated tonight to provide additional clarification. Please see the links below, including a list of updates made to the document.

School Reopening Plan - revised (Google Doc) -

School Reopening Plan - revised (.pdf) -

List of July 19 Edits to School Reopening Plan -

July 17, 2020
Draft Reopening Plan

The draft reopening plan for 2020-2021 is now available online either in .pdf or as a Google Doc
The School Board will meet on Tuesday at 1 p.m. to discuss this plan and to come to consensus about the board decision points that you will find in the plan. The meeting will be livestreamed to youtube
The agenda for Tuesday's meeting can be found online
Some have expressed interest in attending this meeting. Attendance at the meeting is limited due to social distancing guidelines. The agenda includes information on how to submit comments virtually for public address. 
Have a great weekend. 

June 30, 2020
Schedule Clarification to 6-12 Families

Middle and high school families,

I am writing today to apologize. The information I provided yesterday regarding having siblings across schools on the same schedule was incorrect. Middle and high school students can be placed on an all-morning or all-afternoon schedule to align with their elementary siblings. Additionally middle and high school students can be placed on an all-morning or all-afternoon schedule so that they align across schools. This does mean that the middle or high school student would be virtual-only for some classes

If a secondary student must be placed on a morning-only or afternoon-only schedule, that student will have to do certain classes in a fully-remote format.  For example, a middle school student on an all-morning schedule would only have in-person classes for periods 1,2,5,6; periods 3,4,7 and I/E are only in-person in the afternoon.   

We are committed to working with parents to align schedules for multiple children in the same family.  Contact your children’s school to make this request.  The schools are working together to accommodate these schedule modifications.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

June 29, 2020
Message to Families

Thank you to the many families who completed our Return to School Questionnaire. Schools will be reaching out to families who have not yet completed this questionnaire. The answers are essential as we work on scheduling students for the start of school in August. 

Today, we want to answer a few of the most asked questions we have received from families, students, and teachers. 

Our goal is for siblings in the same family to attend school on the same day. This is possible for siblings in the same school. The schedules for elementary, middle, and high schools are too different for siblings across schools to be on the same schedule. 

Principals are starting to work on schedules now. If you have special accommodations for the school to consider or questions about your student's IEP needs, please reach out directly to your child’s school. 

The first day of school will be on August 13, but other breaks might change due to the Wednesday planning day. We are continuing to review the calendar, and we will do our best to notify families as soon as possible when the calendar is firm. 

All classes, including specialty and elective classes, will be taught. Methods will differ depending on the grade level, and our teachers are actively working to adjust their practices to accommodate this. 

We are continuing to work on guidelines for the safety of both our students and our staff as school starts on August 13. We will clean classroom spaces between morning and afternoon sessions. As available, we will note classroom furniture for only morning or afternoon use. We will perform symptom screenings before students attend school - we are still working to determine what this process will be. We will do everything that we can to make sure that students are more than 6 feet apart both in the classroom and in the hallway. Students may be asked to wear cloth face coverings when they can not be more than 6 ft apart, like when they are on the bus. Schools, classrooms, desks, and classroom supplies will be sanitized by division staff between groups of students. Teachers will also be asked to wear face coverings when within 6 ft of students or other staff. 

We are continuing to update our FAQ documents. You can view them on our reopening website -

We will continue to send messages like this one when there are important updates to share. 

Have a great week!

June 24, 2020
Message to Families

We want to be able to answer your questions quickly and effectively. We have created a form for you to submit a question about schools reopening in 2020.  This form automatically routes your question to the right person who can answer it. Answers to questions will be emailed back to the person who asks the question and placed on the appropriate question document (based on category). 

View Questions and Answers by Topic: 


Career and Technical Education


Counseling and Mental Health


Elementary School Curriculum and Scheduling


Middle and High School Curriculum and Scheduling

Remote Learning and Virtual High School



Health and Safety

School Nutrition

Special Education

June 23, 2020
Message to Families

Good evening families. Today, our Return to School website was updated with the school schedules that were approved by the School Board. If you have not yet viewed the schedules, you can view them on the website. 

We are asking you to complete a Return to School Questionnaire. This questionnaire asks about the choice and preferences you might make regarding transportation, attendance (in-person, remote only, virtual), internet access, interest level in Wednesday enrichment, and child care needs for elementary students. We need you to complete this questionnaire once for each student in your household before Sunday, June 28. 

We know that we are asking a lot from you. Please know that your answers to these questions are not binding.  Your responses will help us work on bus routes, scheduling, and child care options as we prepare for the start of school.  Just as you continue to be patient with us, we will continue to be flexible with you. 

Tomorrow, you can expect to receive a link to submit your questions about the start of school. We are currently compiling responses to the questions most often asked and will send you links to those responses with the method for you to ask your own questions. For tonight, we ask that you not reply to this email with your questions. More information will be sent out tomorrow, just as soon as the link is ready to go out. 

We are continuing to work on our plans throughout these summer days and appreciate your patience. It is not easy to face an unknown start to school, but our school division is strong and we will get through this together. 

Additionally, Health and Safety continues to be top of mind for many families. We are accepting volunteers who wish to participate on the MCPS Health and Safety Team.Please use this form to volunteer to participate on the MCPS Health and Safety Team.  This team will meet several times throughout the summer months in preparation for the re-opening of school in Fall 2020.  Our focus will be on strategies that help keep our students, employees, and community healthy and safe.  We do expect great interest and at some point a team becomes too large to be useful.  We do not anticipate being able to include everyone who volunteers.  We will contact you if you have been selected to be a representative on this team. You must complete this form by Friday, June 26 to be considered for the group.

Have a great evening.

Approved Schedules for Re-Opening of Schools

Elementary Schedule

middle school schedule

high school schedule

June 18, 2020
Good afternoon families. The school board unanimously approved option two for elementary, middle, and high schools. This means elementary students will be assigned to either the morning or afternoon group and will attend school for a half-day (three hours) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

All middle and high school students will be divided into Groups 1 & 2 (50% each). Each group will take two classes in person every day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday). Groups will alternate morning & afternoon sessions. When students are not attending classes in person, they will participate in synchronous remote learning at home. Each high school will have a slightly different schedule that will allow them to return to their regular schedules once schools fully reopen.

On Wednesdays, students will not attend school but will have opportunities to engage in additional offerings through student services such as counseling, social-emotional learning, cross-district, and school-based discussion forums, and student leadership training.
Additional information, including bell schedules, will soon be available on the re-opening website. Once this information is online, you will receive another communication from us.

We know that there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered about how this schedule will impact our students, staff, and families. Our team is working diligently to put this plan into action. You will get frequent updates from us as there is more information available. For now, we ask for your patience. Please let us work through the questions that we currently have and create more information for you. That will include a method to submit questions and concerns.

There are still many unknowns about the schedule and about what the fall will look like. What we do know is that we will keep you informed every step of the way. Have a good day.

June 12, 2020

The School Board held a special session to vote on transportation plans for the 2020-21 school year. The School Board unanimously voted for Option 2. This option increases the number of students on each bus, provided that students wear face coverings. Bus aides will be on the bus to monitor students. This allows for fewer bus runs while still bringing more students to the school building, providing the opportunity for more students to be in school. All buses will be sanitized between bus runs. Special accommodations will be made for students who can not wear face coverings for medical reasons. 

The administration also presented a second scheduling option for students that would allow all students to attend school for a portion of the day (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday). 

Parents will receive a survey about the scheduling options on Friday, June 12. They will be asked to complete the survey by Monday, June 15 so that the data can be presented to the School Board. 

Dr. Miear shared a video update about the School Board Meeting. 

June 10, 2020

Virginia's Governor announced provided guidelines for the re-opening of schools in Virginia

Within the guidelines provided MCPS staff worked with re-opening committees to determine what potential options might exist for re-opening schools to students in the fall. A presentation about the re-opening options was presented to the School Board on June 9. A video recording of the presentation is also available

Dr. Miear shared a video with staff and families about the re-opening options and how these options were guided by the state guidelines. 
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