Tuesday, March 31, 2020

U.S. Dept. of Ed: FERPA and Virtual Learning Webinar Posted


On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) presented a webinar on “Student Privacy – FERPA and Virtual Learning During COVID-19.” The webinar was in response to the many questions we have received about FERPA as educators and students shift to learning online during this time of social distancing.
SPPO distilled most of the questions into 10 common scenarios and questions about FERPA. For each scenario, we identify key FERPA requirements and takeaways and other questions to consider for best practices. We also include at the end of presentation a listing of other available resources.
SPPO recorded the webinar given that, due to the overwhelming response, participation was limited to 600 or so participants. We have posted all event materials, including the webinar recording on our website as follows:
  • Webinar Recording:
  • Webinar Slide Deck:
Additional related resources on our website include the following: 

If, after reviewing these materials, you still have questions, please submit them to our student privacy help desk at FERPA@ed.gov.

Be well.


Kala Shah Surprenant
Acting Director
Student Privacy Policy Office

Monday, March 30, 2020

Montgomery County Public Schools has started distance learning, but some families are confused about how it works and what to expect.

Einstein HS Principal Leaves for Administrative Position After Less Than One Year in Position

Saturday, March 28, 2020

After uproar, USDA says parents can pick up school meals without kids present

The federal government is waiving a policy that required students to come in-person to pick up free meals during school closures, after legislators and advocates said the rule was imperiling the health of children with compromised immune systems.
New guidance from the U.S. Agriculture Department, issued this week, allows school districts to distribute meals “to a parent or guardian to take home to their children,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Post.
The waiver takes effect immediately and applies to all states that elect to use it. Schools will need to develop strategies to ensure the meal distribution plan retains “integrity,” Angela M. Kline, director of policy and program development for the USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs, wrote in the waiver.
Although the USDA envisioned “operators providing meals directly to children,” Kline wrote, the agency “recognizes that in this public health emergency, continuing to require children to come to the meal site to pick up meals may not be practical and in keeping with the goal of providing meals while also taking appropriate safety measures.”..

Important Update for Parents/Guardians of Students with Individualized Education Programs or Section 504 Plans

Dear Montgomery County Public Schools Families,
On March 22, 2020, Superintendent Jack Smith announced that beginning on March 30, 2020, MCPS will launch the first phase of a continuity of learning (distance/remote learning) system so that all students can begin to have structured school experiences. Monday, March 30 will be the first day our teachers and 10-month support staff members will be back at work. They are excited and eager to reconnect with their students.
We know that families of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) have many questions. Throughout the last few weeks, the Office of Special Education, the Resolution and Compliance Unit, and the Office of the General Counsel have been collaborating with local and state education agencies to determine a thoughtful, measured approach to implement the continuity of learning. As the instructional environment shifts from in-person to online, students and teachers will need time to adjust.
As a result, all IEP and Section 504 meetings that were postponed while schools were closed from March 16 to March 27, 2020, will be rescheduled. All IEP and Section 504 meetings scheduled for March 30 through April 3, 2020, are postponed and will be rescheduled.
Beginning Monday, March 30, students and families will have the opportunity to take tutorials and lessons to practice interacting with the online tools. Staff will be participating in professional development on a variety of topics, including the use of new and familiar technology tools to support student learning and setting up their myMCPS classrooms. We are working diligently to ensure these virtual tools allow access to learning for all students, including students with disabilities.
Elementary school staff will be engaged in professional learning on Monday through Wednesday (March 30–April 1). They will begin to reconnect with students on Wednesday, April 1 and begin learning experiences with students on Thursday, April 2.
Secondary school staff will take part in professional learning on Monday and Tuesday (March 30-31). They will reconnect with students beginning Wednesday, April 1and begin to close out the third marking period.
For students with IEPs or Section 504 Plans, we will work with families to maximize their individualized specially designed instruction or to implement their Section 504 accommodations to the fullest extent possible. Beginning Wednesday, April 1, we will reconnect with you to discuss individualized supports. More information on our processes beginning next week is below. As additional information and guidance is provided by the federal, state and local educational and health departments, we will keep you informed.
Virtual IEP and Section 504 Meetings
·        Our staff will be working to schedule virtual IEP and Section 504 meetings with critical team members to implement continuity of learning.
·    Meetings will be held via conference call or through Google Meet or Google Hangouts. 
·        Case managers will contact you during the week of March 30 to discuss your child’s individualized plan for continuity of learning.
·        Documents will be sent to you before and after meetings. If you do not have access to a computer and need hard copies of documents, please let your child’s case manager know when they contact you.
·        You will receive instructions for how to participate in the virtual meeting along with all documents to be discussed at the meeting. 
Academic Supports for Students
Case Management
·        Your child’s case manager will contact you next week to discuss and assess the individualized supports and strategies necessary for your child to access the continuity of learning plan required to implement IEP goals or 504 Plan accommodations. 
·        Through this initial contact, a schedule of ongoing check-ins, provision of resources, and expectations for parent communication will be established.
Accessibility Features
·        Content for students is being developed with accessibility standards.  Students with disabilities will be able to access assistive technology outlined in their IEPs or Section 504 Plans through the MCPS-provided Chromebooks, with such accessibility features such as Google Read & Write, EquatlO for math and other embedded features within the Google Suite. 
·        IEP and Section 504 teams will work with families to provision additional assistive technologies if needed during this time period.
Special Education Teacher/Paraeducator Supports
Special education teachers will co-plan with general education teachers and co-teach when applicable. Special education teachers will collaborate with special education paraeducators to determine what supports the paraeducator will provide to your child.
 Academic support for students working towards alternative learning outcomes will include a modified schedule and materials. To support the alternative education framework for students working towards a certificate of completion, the Office of Special Education has customized a schedule and accompanying curriculum materials to meet their needs. Your child’s case manager will provide a brief overview of this modified schedule. There are time frames built in for supporting students so that special education teachers in programs such as School Community-based, Autism and Learning for Independence will be able to reinforce, reteach and provide modified lessons. 
Access to computer-based academic interventions, including, but not limited to, i-Ready Math, Systems 44 and Math 180 will be available.
Section 504 Accommodations
During the continuity of learning, teachers will implement the accommodations on your child’s Section 504 Plan to the maximum extent appropriate to ensure access to this modified curriculum.
Assessments and Evaluation
·        If your student is currently in the process of initial eligibility or reevaluation, it may become necessary to adjust the original timelines for completion of assessments. 
·        Evaluators may contact you to explain the formal assessments that can be done virtually and/or to gather information for the evaluation, such as parent and student interviews.  
·       Evaluations that require an in-person assessment will be postponed and rescheduled once schools reopen.
·        Please work with your child’s case manager if you have individual questions around evaluation.  
Related Service Provision
·        Related service providers may include occupational therapists, physical therapists, school counselors, school psychologists, social workers and speech language pathologists. 
·        Depending on the current related services on your child’s IEP,  the applicable related service provider(s) will contact you in the upcoming weeks to discuss individual supports for those related service(s). 
·        Some hands-on related services may be unsafe to deliver during the continuity of the learning plan.
·        Parents/guardians of students with related services on their IEPs should expect one or more of the following: individually modified direct services to students, consultative services to the IEP team; strategies for a family coaching model; and/or tele-visits.
·        Depending on the current consultative related services on your child’s Section 504 Plan, the applicable related service provider(s) will contact you in the upcoming weeks to discuss the individual supports for the related consultative service(s) on your child’s current Section 504 Plan.  
·        Related service providers will be available to support students and families by responding to questions and reaching out to students by phone, text or email. 
Transition Activities
·        Transition services are to be completed annually for students with IEPs beginning at age 14 (or age 13 if turning 14 in the IEP year). 
·        For high school students, transition support teachers will contact you in the upcoming weeks to discuss individual supports for the transition activities in your child’s current IEP. 
·        For middle school students, special education resource teachers will contact you in the upcoming weeks to discuss individual supports for the transition activities in your child’s current IEP. 
·     MCPS staff will explain how employment skills for transition activities related to employment or community-based instruction will be addressed as a result of the business restrictions  mandated by Governor Larry Hogan.
Thank you for your understanding and ongoing commitment to making the safety of our students, staff and school communities a priority.
Regular updates will be shared with families on the MCPS Coronavirus Continuity of Learning webpage. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education have developed specific guidance for special education to support school teams. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Students will take Advanced Placement exams online at home

High schoolers will take their Advanced Placement, or AP, exams online and at home instead of in-person this year due to the spread of the coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, the College Board announced.
Students across the country who are enrolled in AP courses take the tests each year for a fee in exchange for potential college credit...

Gov. Hogan: Maryland Schools Considering Pass Or Fail Grade For 4th Quarter

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and state education leaders are trying to figure out how to handle the remaining school year amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 
“I think they are going to try and continue the school year without the buildings being open for as many people as possible,” Hogan said. “They’re doing online learning. They’re getting laptops and iPads out to as many kids as possible.”..

The Other Epidemic

As the country tries to grabble with the growing threat of the coronavirus, it is hard to believe that we have been in the midst of another epidemic for decades. It is a silent public health crisis that comes without fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Unlike COVID-19, older generations are not impacted by this epidemic, as it predominately strikes children, rendering them voiceless and permanently injured.

The victims are age-compromised. Many have pre-existing vulnerabilities—divorced families, low-income homes, and physical or intellectual disabilities. Monsters like Jerry Sandusky, Michael Jackson, and Jeffrey Epstein knew this; their grooming of kids, and sometimes parents, was highly effective. According to the research, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. That is over 20% of our children—an alarming number. Has anyone called the National Guard? Doesn’t this warrant a State of Emergency?..

Map: Coronavirus and School Closures

The coronavirus pandemic has forced widespread school closures in the United States in an unprecedented disruption of K-12 schooling.
Use the map below to see state-level information about school closures.
School closures refer to the shutdown of physical buildings and traditional, in-person instruction.
School closures due to coronavirus have impacted at least 124,000 U.S. public and private schools and affected at least 55.1 million students.
There are at least 98,000 public schools and at least 34,000 private schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Those schools educate almost 50.8 million public school students and 5.8 million private school students.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

COVID-19: Helping Families With Special Needs During a Public Health Crisis

As a mother of a daughter with autism and intellectual disabilities, as well as a professional in the human services field, I am all too familiar with the unique challenges facing families of individuals with special needs.
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic brings additional worry. In these unprecedented and uncertain times, there are many steps families and caregivers can take – such as the ones listed below – to provide reassurance to children and adults living with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences...

Press Release from Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

For Immediate Release
Jeffrey Chester, CDD: jeff@democraticmedia.org, (202) 494-7100
Josh Golin, CCFC: josh@commercialfreechildhood.org (339) 970-4240 
Children’s privacy advocates call on FTC to require Google, Disney, other leading companies to disclose how they gather and use data to target kids and families
Threats to young people from digital marketing and data collection are heightened by home schooling and increased video and mobile streaming in response to COVID-19
WASHINGTON, DC and BOSTON, MA – March 26, 2020 – With children and families even more dependent on digital media during the COVID-19 crisis, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to require leading digital media companies to turn over information on how they target kids, including the data they collect. In a letter to the FTC, the advocates proposed a series of questions to shed light on the array of opaque data collection and digital marketing practices which the tech companies employ to target kids.  The letter includes a proposed list of numerous digital media and marketing companies and edtech companies that should be the targets of the FTC’s investigation—among them are Google, Zoom, Disney, Comcast, AT&T, Viacom, and edtech companies Edmodo and Prodigy.  
The letter—sent by the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown Law, attorneys for the advocates—is in response to the FTC’s early review of the rules protecting children under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  The groups said “children’s privacy is under siege more than ever,” and urged the FTC “not to take steps that could undermine strong protections for children’s privacy without full information about a complex data collection ecosystem.”
The groups ask the Commission to request vital information from two key sectors that greatly impact the privacy of children: the edtech industry, which provides information and technology applications in the K-12 school setting; and the commercial digital data and marketing industry that provides the majority of online content and communications for children, including apps, video streaming, and gaming. The letter suggests numerous questions for the FTC to get to the core of how digital companies conduct business today, including contemporary Big Data practices that capture, analyze, track, and target children across platforms.
“With schools closed across the country, American families are more dependent than ever on digital media to educate and occupy their children,” said CCFC’s Executive Director, Josh Golin. “It’s now urgent that the FTC use its full authority to shed light on the business models of the edtech and children’s digital media industries so we can understand what Big Tech knows about our children and what they are doing with that information. The stakes have never been higher.”
“Although children’s privacy is supposed to be protected by federal law and the FTC, young people remain at the epicenter of a powerful data-gathering and commercial online advertising system," said Dr. Katharina Kopp, Deputy Director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “We call on the FTC to investigate how companies use data about children, how these data practices work against children’s interests, and also how they impact low-income families and families of color. Before it proposes any changes to the COPPA rules, the FTC needs to obtain detailed insights into how contemporary digital data practices pose challenges to protecting children. Given the outsize intrusion of commercial surveillance into children’s and families’ lives via digital services for education, entertainment, and communication, the FTC must demonstrate it is placing the welfare of kids as its highest priority.”  
In December, CCFC and CDD led a coalition of 31 groups—including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Common Sense Media, Consumer Reports, Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Public Citizen—in calling on the FTC to use its subpoena authority. The groups said the Commission must better assess the impacts on children from today’s digital data-driven advertising system, and features such as cross-device tracking, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, and real-time measurement. 
“Childhood is more digital than ever before, and the various ways that children's data is collected, analyzed, and used have never been more complex or opaque,” said Lindsey Barrett, Staff Attorney and Teaching Fellow at IPR’s Communications and Technology Law Clinic at Georgetown Law. “The Federal Trade Commission should shed light on how children's privacy is being invaded at home, at school, and throughout their lives by investigating the companies that profit from collecting their data, and cannot undertake an informed and fact-based revision of the COPPA rules without doing so.” 
"Children today, more than ever, have an incredible opportunity to learn, play, and socialize online,” said Celia Calano, student attorney at the Institute for Public Representation. “But these modern playgrounds and classrooms come with new safety concerns, including highly technical and obscure industry practices. The first step to improving the COPPA Rule and protecting children online is understanding the current landscape—something the FTC can achieve with a 6(b) investigation."
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood educates the public about commercialism's impact on kids' wellbeing and advocates for the end of child-targeted marketing. CCFC organizes parents to hold corporations accountable for their marketing practices, advocates for policies to protect kids, and works with parents and professionals to reduce children's screen time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

MCPS Schools Closed Through April 24: Laptop Distribution to Begin March 26

Dear MCPS Students, Staff and Community:
Today, March 25, Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that Maryland public schools will be closed until April 24, 2020.  While this news is not what we want or unexpected, it is the right thing to do as we are facing an unprecedented health crisis. We want you to know that even though our school buildings are closed, Montgomery County Public Schools will continue to support student learning as well as the physical, social-emotional and psychological needs of our students. It is important to know that this will not be the same experience students have in school buildings.  However, it will provide continuity of learning while our school buildings are closed.  
We know that the announcement of an extended closure will generate many questions—from the student learning experience to the school calendar. This evening, and over the next several days, we will send messages to students, staff and parents to begin addressing many of these questions and concerns.
Even though our buildings are closed, we will be proceeding with continuity of learning for our students. Part of that plan involves ensuring students with real need have access to Chromebook laptops  and the internet. MCPS will begin distributing laptops to students tomorrow, Thursday, March 26. Details about this distribution are below.
We know that the state superintendent’s decision to extend this school closure is hard for our families. School is at the heart of our county and community.  However, this is the right decision to ensure everyone’s safety as we combat the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Please continue to stay safe and take care of one another.  We are all in this together.

Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Chromebook Distribution

MCPS is providing laptops to students with a need to ensure they can access instruction from home. Laptopchromebook distribution will begin Thursday, March 26. Devices are in limited supply and are reserved for students who do not have access to a computer or laptop at home.
To pick up a laptop, students (or the parent/guardian) will need to present their student ID (or provide the student ID number).  Distribution locations are organized by school level. Complete instructions as well as distribution dates, times and locations are listed below and on the MCPS Coronavirus Information website.  Students and parents can also call 240-740-7023 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. for information. 

Important Note:  For families without internet access at home, Comcast is offering free internet access through its Internet Essentials program. More information about this program is at https://internetessentials.com/. MCPS also has a limited number of mobile Wi-Fi hotspot devices that provide access to the internet. These devices will be distributed at a later date.
Distribution Dates and Times
  • Thursday, March 26, 8 a.m. -11:15 a.m.: All High Schools
  • Thursday, March 26, 12:45 p.m.-4 p.m.: The following elementary schools:
ArcolaGlenallanKemp MillBel Pre
Georgian ForestStrathmoreCashellJudith Resnik
SequoyahCandlewoodFlower HillMill Creek Towne
Lucy V. BarnsleyFlower ValleyMaryvaleMeadow Hall
Rock Creek ValleyBells MillSeven LocksBeverly Farms
PotomacWaysideHighlandOakland Terrace
Rock ViewGlen HavenFlora M. SingerWoodlin
BeallCollege GardensRitchie ParkTwinbrook
Bayard RustinCloverlyStonegateBurtonsville
FairlandGreencastleGalwayWilliam Tyler Page
BannockburnBradley HillsBurning TreeCarderock Springs
Wood Acres

Friday, March 27, 8 a.m.-11:15 a.m.: The following elementary schools:
Capt. James DalyFox ChapelClarksburg William B. Gibbs
Little BennettCedar GroveSnowden FarmWilson Wims
BelmontGreenwoodOlneyBrooke Grove
SherwoodStedwickWatkins MillWhetstone
South LakeBrown StationRachel CarsonFields Road
Jones LaneThurgood MarshallS. Christa McAuliffeSally K. Ride
Lake SenecaWaters LandingAshburtonKensington Parkwood
WyngateFarmlandGarrett ParkLuxmanor
GoshenRosemontSummit HallWashington Grove
GaithersburgLaytonsvilleStrawberry KnollsGreat Seneca Creek
Ronald McNairSpark M. MatsunagaDarnestownDiamond
Clopper MillGermantown

Friday, March 27, 12:45 p.m.-4 p.m.: The following elementary schools
Montgomery KnollsNew Hampshire EstatesOak ViewPine Crest
Takoma ParkPiney BranchHarmony HillsChevy Chase
North Chevy ChaseRock Creek ForestRosemary HillsBethesda
SomersetWestbrookEast Silver SpringForest Knolls
Highland ViewRolling TerraceSligo CreekBrookhaven
Sargent ShriverViers MillWeller RoadWheaton Woods
Cold SpringStone MillDufiefFallsmead
Lois P. RockwellWoodfieldMonocacyPoolesville
Burnt MillsCannon RoadCresthavenDr. Charles Drew
Roscoe NixJackson RoadBroad Acres/LeleckWestover
Where Should Families Pick Up Laptops?
  • High School Students: Pick up at the school that the student attends.
  • Middle School Students: Pick up at an elementary school close to your home (use the School assignment locator if you do not know which elementary school is assigned to your community).
  • Elementary School Students: Pick up at the school that the student attends.
  • Students in Specific Programs: If the student is in a magnet or Choice program, a regional special education program (such as School Community Based or Learning For Independence), or in a program at any of the sites listed below, a laptop can be picked up from any elementary school close to your home.
    • Carl Sandburg Learning Cent
    • Rock Terrace School
    • Stephen Knolls School
    • Longview School
    • RICA
    • Blair G. Ewing Center (Plum Orchard, Avery Road and Cloverleaf sites)
    • MacDonald Knolls Early Childhood Center
    • Upcounty Early Childhood Center at Emory Grove
  • If you are unsure of where to go, use the School assignment locator to find the elementary school in your neighborhood
  • We strongly encourage that an adult accompany any student who wishes to pick up a laptop.
  • If you are unable to pick up a laptop during the distribution days, MCPS will provide information on additional opportunities for laptop pick up in the coming days.
Instructions for Parents/Students for Distribution Day
  • If you are in a car, please hold up the student ID or write the student ID number on a piece of paper big enough so that staff can read it through your car window or from six feet away.  The staff person will record your student ID number and assign you a laptop.
  • If you walk up to the distribution site, please have the student ID or ID number ready.  The staff person will record your student ID number and assign you a laptop.
  • Remember to follow social distancing guidelines when you come to pick up a laptop (keep six feet between people).  Please follow directions from MCPS staff who will be helping to manage traffic.
  • Students provided laptops will be subject to the Notification of Laptop Responsibilities form (see linked document).

MCPS Notification of Chromebook Responsibilities

printable List of Distribution Dates and Times

Today, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced that the closure of all public schools in Maryland will be extended for an additional four weeks through April 24, 2020.

FYI KIDS: You are Playing on Plastic #COVID19 #ArtificialTurf

Scientists discovered the virus is detectable for up to three hours in aerosols, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.


At 11a, @GovLarryHogan will hold a press conference at the State House. I encourage Maryland's parents, students, and teachers to tune in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

an employee at Whetstone Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Dear MCPS Community:
The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has confirmed with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) that an employee at Whetstone Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus). Based on its investigation, DHHS does not believe any students or staff were at risk of exposure from this employee. DHHS has notified all community members who may have been in close contact with this individual and provided direct monitoring and guidance.
We are sharing this information with the full MCPS community as it is the first positive test of an employee of which we are aware. As the availability of tests increase, we anticipate the number of positive tests will increase. DHHS officials will notify any impacted community members directly.
MCPS is in regular contact with the DHHS for the most accurate and up-to-date information. We will continue to follow guidance provided by the county and state health departments, including preventive measures, reporting protocols and appropriate communication with the community. 
There is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. It is therefore important to take everyday preventive steps that are recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds, flu and COVID-19:
  • Practice social distancing. Try to stay at least six feet away from people and avoid direct physical contact.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough or difficulty breathing. If you are feeling ill, stay home and call your doctor’s office. They will advise you based on the severity of your symptoms. Only go to the emergency room if your symptoms are severe. If you have additional questions, contact Montgomery County Disease Control at 240-777-1755.
As a reminder, all official announcements about positive COVID-19 tests in Montgomery County will be confirmed by county and state health officials and impacted community members will be contacted directly by DHHS.
Our thoughts are with our Whetstone colleague who has fallen ill from COVID-19. The health and safety of our community is important to us all. Please take care of yourselves and stay healthy.
Montgomery County Public Schools

Bill pushing raises for school board dies in abbreviated legislative session

A bill that would have given Montgomery County school board members a raise for the first time in six years failed in this year’s abbreviated state legislative session.
The proposed $10,000 raise would have increased board members’ salaries to $35,000 per year...

Monday, March 23, 2020

Maryland State Board Meeting Agenda March 24, 2020


***The March 24, 2020 State Board Meeting will be conducted entirely via teleconference***

Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-2595

SPECIAL NOTICE: Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting will be conducted entirely via teleconference and there will be no public access to the Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building,  200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. State Board members and presenters will participate via conference call. The agenda and related documents can be accessed below. Agenda items have been condensed to include only those items that require State Board action at this time. The public comment portion of the meeting will not take place; however, the State Board encourages the public to submit their comments in writing to stateboard.msde@maryland.gov and this information will be distributed to State Board members.


BREAKING: Virginia’s governor is ordering schools closed for rest of the academic year

Today: Board of Ed to Buy $18M in Technology Hardware & Services, $14.4M in Computers, $1.9M in Disposable Supplies for Food

The Montgomery County Board of Education will be holding a virtual meeting today at 3:00 PM

The meeting will start with an update on COVID-19.

The Board will then approve numerous Consent Items including the following 3 purchases:

Technology Solutions Contract

Computers, Associated Hardwareand Services—Extension

Cafeteria Disposable Supplies—Extension

Sunday, March 22, 2020

MCPS Finally Brings Lunches to Montgomery Village

Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities

March 21, 2020 Update:


MCPS: "While it has not yet been announced by the state, it is becoming more apparent to us all that students and staff will not be returning to school buildings on March 30."

By Superintendent Jack R. Smith

It’s Sunday, March 22, and we are a little more than a week into this new world we are in. With all but a few states having closed all schools, we are experiencing a cataclysmic shift in how schools, communities and our society function. And the fact is, we do not know what’s going to happen or how it’s going to happen. We do not know how this will unfold. What we do know is that we are all in this together and we are better together.

It’s been an extremely rough week for every member of the school community—parents, families and staff— many of whom are also parents. It’s been especially difficult for students. Here’s how Steve Snyder, editor ofThe 74, an education-focused website, describes what’s happening:

“Students are dislocated. Educators are scrambling to conceive the classroom as a virtual daily gathering. Parents have been deputized overnight as homeschoolers. Advocates are surveying this foreign landscape and raising urgent concerns surrounding issues of equity, inclusion, curriculum, safety, standards and … well … everything else that shapes the functioning of a school community.”

While it has not yet been announced by the state, it is becoming more apparent to us all that students and staff will not be returning to school buildings on March 30. Given that, what will the remainder of the school year look like? This is yet another question that will need an answer.

So, let’s focus on what we do know now. On March 30, we will launch the first phase of a distance learning system so that students can begin to have structured school experiences. A system that will provide multiple ways to access learning for a variety of students. Such a system must include learning that allows for that much needed human connection between staff and students, albeit through different means than what we're used to. A system that will bring some degree of normalcy to the lives of our 166,000 prekindergarten-Grade 12 students.

Even before Dr. Karen Salmon, the state superintendent of schools, declared a two-week emergency closure just over a week ago, we were busy working to chart the course for the largest school system in Maryland. We created meal distribution systems; we have more than 55,000 students who receive multiple free meals on regular school days. Cleaning and sanitizing regiments were put in place for our 208 schools and about 30 other MCPS sites, as well as more than 1,500 buses. We have worked closely with our local and state governments  on how we can be helpful around questions of childcare for medical and emergency personnel and the provision of the ongoing healthcare needs of students.

Simultaneously, a few weeks ago we started pulling together our many learning tools and assets—we have a lot of them; they were in no way, however, organized to launch as a structured learning system the day the announcement was made to close schools for two weeks...

Friday, March 20, 2020

Hogan urges spring break returnees to self-quarantine

Gov. Larry Hogan is asking all returning spring break travelers to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Hogan, in an update on the COVID-19 response released Friday afternoon, said the state now has 149 confirmed cases.Two new cases are children including an infant and the first teenager. None of the children under 18 are hospitalized.
A number of colleges and universities in Maryland, including the University System of Maryland, have moved to remote learning for its spring semester.
“We are asking all returning spring break travelers to self-quarantine for the next 14 days, and to avoid people over the age of 60. Even though students are not returning to campus, this should not in any way be treated as an extension of your spring break,” said Hogan. “If you ignore this recommendation, you are endangering yourself and the health of others.”..

Poison Control tells you what to do if you swallow, splash, or get stung by something that might be harmful.

It's a prime time for unintentional poisonings. Poison Control is here to help.
Our routines have suddenly changed with the onset of coronavirus (COVID-19). Many schools, day cares, and offices are closed, and many of us are working remotely. Hand sanitizer, cleaning products, and disinfectants are within close reach of our children. Our use of medications may be different than it was last week.

All of these changes make it a prime time for unintentional poisonings to happen right at home. No matter what the situation, reach out to Poison Control FIRST for suspected poisonings. Get guidance and treatment recommendations online with webPOISONCONTROL or by calling 1-800-222-1222. We're open and ready to help.

Poison Control reduces poisoning-related ER visits, a critical part of preserving valuable healthcare resources for coronavirus (COVID-19) care.
Learn more about Poison Control services at www.poison.org.