Belmont and all MCPS schools will be closed the remainder of the school year to help prevent the spread of COV1D-19. Below are some helpful memos and information that have been sent out. We will continue to update the page as we can.
Phase III of Online Learning
Phase III of remote learning in MCPS will begin on Monday, May 18, and end on Monday, June 15. During this phase, lessons and instructional activities will continue to be delivered in both live and recorded formats, and teachers will continue with established schedules and processes for engaging students. Social-emotional learning opportunities will continue to be provided for staff and students. Teachers and schools will continue to use available calendar functions to help students stay organized with assignments and check-in schedules, and will make every effort to also provide this information to parents/guardians as they support learning at home. MCPS will continue to provide hard copy instructional packets every Wednesday, which will cover math, English Language Arts and ESOL content. See the full printed materials list for May 13 and May 20 here. These packets will be available for pick up at all of the MCPS meal service locations.
Phase III Highlights for Elementary Students and Families
In an effort to enhance science learning, a staff member from your child’s school will engage students in elementary science resources beginning the week of May 18. The staff member will record the lesson in the event that students are not available at the time of instruction. Schools will be in contact with families about the time of the science lessons. Elementary social studies resources will also be introduced the week of May 18. These activities are intended for families to use for additional enrichment. It is important to note that elementary science and social studies are optional learning opportunities.
At the elementary level, students will:
- Participate in math lessons three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
- Participate in literacy lessons two days a weeks (Tuesday and Thursday), which includes daily independent reading time for Grades PreK-1 (20 min) and Grades 2-5 (30-40 min)
- Participate in art, music and physical education (P.E.) lessons at a time that works best for each family (pre-recorded lessons will be available to families every other Monday)
Parents can expect that their elementary students will spend anywhere from 11-13.5 hours per week engaging in live classroom meetings, completing assignments and viewing materials. Printed packets will also be available for elementary families to pick up every Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at our meal distribution sites.
*Suggested times only (pre-recorded lessons are available to families for use on a schedule that works best for them)
*art/music/P.E. lessons are released every other week
Grading and Reporting
On May 12, the Montgomery County Board of Education approved a revised grading policy for elementary and secondary students. As part of this change, high school students will be able to earn a letter grade or elect to have a “Pass” as the final second semester grade, on a course-by-course basis.
We are currently developing systems to ensure that students are able to take advantage of a grading option that is to their benefit, and that students/families have the information they need to make an informed decision. More information will be sent next week about how to select a grading option in high school courses, but we want to emphasize that students/families will be provided the flexibility and the time they need to make these decisions.
Students who do not meet the criteria for passing a course in the 4th Marking Period will be issued an “Incomplete” and will be provided with opportunities to earn a passing grade during a summer learning program and/or learning recovery period. More information about the opportunities about summer programs will be shared in the coming weeks.
Letter grades will not be assigned for the 4th Marking Period. The emphasis will be on engaging students in learning experiences and connecting with and engaging as many students as possible. To ensure students are progressing and meeting learning objectives, we will:
- Provide students with the opportunity to engage in a variety of learning experiences
- Follow up with students and their parents/guardians in identified areas of concern
- Engage students in academic and social-emotional work
- Provide teachers with information so that students return to school, they will know which skills to work on, and how to engage them in learning at the next grade level.
Retrieval of Personal Items from Schools
MCPS is beginning the process of allowing students and staff to pick up personal belongings and materials. Staff and student safety will be a top priority in this process. Staff using protective equipment will prepare materials for curbside pickup. Students and families will not be allowed to enter the building. This process will be staggered and will extend beyond June 15. Principals, in coordination with central services, will inform their school communities about timing and logistics when their school is ready to begin this process.
Kindergarten registration is now open for children who will be 5 years old by September 1, 2020. MCPS’ kindergarten program is widely recognized as among the best in the nation, with students making excellent progress toward the district’s reading and mathematics goals. We believe our youngest learners should receive a rich and well-rounded early learning experience to prepare them to be successful, productive 21st century citizens. MCPS has launched a new online registration/enrollment process to support families who wish to enroll their children. Families can complete the process in three ways:
- Online, starting with this Registration Survey
- Over the phone by calling 240-740-5999
- By paper forms. Complete the Registration Survey or call 240-740-5999 to request forms be mailed to your home.
While State Schools Superintendent Karen Salmon has directed local school districts to make contingency plans for reopening in the fall, we are planning for your children to be with us. If you are uncertain about your plans for the fall, but will likely send your child when school opens, please enroll him or her now. Details on kindergarten orientation, as well as plans for the upcoming school year, will be shared in the coming weeks. Families that have received the registration materials are asked to complete the forms and submit them as soon as possible.
Additional opportunities to obtain Chromebooks will be provided in the coming weeks. If you did not have an opportunity to submit a request to your child’s school for the April 8 distribution, please contact your school to be added to the list for the next distribution.
For families without internet access at home, Xfinity is providing free access to their Wi-Fi public wireless network. The Xfinity network should appear as an option when you attempt to connect devices to Wi-Fi at home. For a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, select the xfinity WiFi network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser. These are typically available even from within someones home.
MCPS has expanded its use of the Alert MCPS system to send system wide messages of importance to the community, in addition to information about emergency closings and delays. These notices come in the form of emails and text messages. We encourage all MCPS families to sign up for this system to ensure that you stay up-to-date on the latest information, resources and announcements.
MCPS has created a new series of videos entitled Mindful Moment. The goal of the Mindful Moment Series is to deliver simple and effective tools for all of us to manage our anxiety and stress. These videos, which can be accessed and used at any time, can be found here.
There are strategies designed for both elementary and secondary students, adults and families. Each video is presented by MCPS staff who lead you through a Mindfulness exercise. Some employ physical exercise, some offer breathing techniques, while others demonstrate mental exercises—all of which are proven mindfulness techniques to relieve the effects of stress, worry, frustration, depression, anger, fear and restlessness.
Student Attendance and Accountability
Although daily student attendance will not be taken in traditional ways, teachers and school administrators will monitor student engagement and participation. This will be tracked in a number of ways, including:
- Assignment completion
- Students attending live sessions or virtual “office hours
- Email or phone calls with students/parents/guardians
- Paper/pencil assignments that students turn in
We want to stress that student engagement and participation in remote learning is critical. If your child(ren) is having trouble engaging in online learning, please contact their counselor or a school administrator as soon as possible. You can also submit a question or concern here
MCPS Resources and Information
Belmont Resources and Information