Travis Gayles, MCPS reviewing mask mandates for schools and daycares


MCPS, Health Department “Evaluates” State Mask Guidelines

Montgomery County public school leaders and Department of Health officials said they were reviewing new state guidelines that remove the requirement for people to wear face coverings in schools.

On Monday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that on July 1 he would end the declaration of a state of emergency in the state, which has various implications, including ending face coverage requirements in schools and daycares.

Just days before Hogan’s announcement, at a school board meeting on Thursday, MCPS executives said they plan to require masks in schools when classes resume in the fall. But they also said the decision was based on the current rules and could be reconsidered if new guidelines are issued.

When asked if Hogan’s announcement on Monday changed plans for face coverage requirements for summer programs or fall classes, a school district spokeswoman wrote in an e- mail that MCPS “checked [county health officer] Dr. [Travis] Gayles and county officials.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Gayles said the health department “will continue to review the data” and provide advice to help MCPS make decisions.

“We are working very closely with our colleagues at MCPS and our colleagues in non-public schools on the pandemic, and we anticipate that this will be another area where we provide advice on how to move forward,” Gayles said. .

He noted that children under 12 are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. The best scenario, he said, would be for the Food and Drug Administration to provide clearance by the end of July or early August.

“It would be a game-changer as we would be able to provide an extra layer of protection for this group before returning them to school at full capacity and potentially in environments where face coverings and other physical and health distancing measures public are no longer in place, ”Gayles said.

Former MCPS Academic Officer Appointed Charles County Schools Superintendent

Former MCPS Academic Leader Maria Navarro was named this week as the next Charles County Public School Superintendent in southern Maryland.

Navarro was an academic leader in Montgomery County for six years, until she stepped down in June 2020 and began working as a consultant. She recently helped the county and school district prepare for an expected influx of unaccompanied minors into the county.

Navarro will replace the retiring Charles County Superintendent Kimberly Hill.

In Montgomery County, Navarro has helped expand access to preschool and bilingual programs, according to a press release from the Charles County School District. She also contributed to the development of a new curriculum and to the expansion of vocational and technical training programs.

Prior to MCPS, Navarro spent five years as an academic principal in Baltimore City Public Schools.

Navarro holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in science education from Temple University and a doctorate in leadership and educational policy from George Washington University, according to the release. Press.

Charles County Public Schools have an enrollment of approximately 27,000 students. The district has 37 schools.

Washington’s Waldorf School Goes Solar

Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda this week started using solar panels to power their school.

The 577 panels on the roof have an estimated power of 279,800 kilowatt-hours, the equivalent of the carbon impact of 44 cars driven for a year, according to a press release from the school.

Eric Holdsworth, chairman of the school board, said in a press release that the change “is a very exciting development for the school.”

“Being able to generate sustainable electricity fits perfectly with our values ​​as a Waldorf school and is a great way for the school to help keep our planet livable,” he said.

The Waldorf School in Washington also uses composting, owns native plant rain gardens and classroom gardens, and has received the Montgomery County Recycling Achievement Award on several occasions.

MCPS launches 10th year of fundraising for school supplies

MCPS has launched the 10th year of its Give BACKpacks campaign to raise funds to purchase and distribute backpacks and school supplies to students.

People can donate $ 10 to participate. MCPS will run throughout the summer “with the goal of providing as many students as possible with a backpack and supplies at the start of the school year,” according to an article posted on the district’s website. school. The goal this year is to raise $ 300,000. Donations can be made to a specific school or group, or to the district.

During the 2020-21 campaign, supplies were distributed to more than 26,000 students.

Checks should be made payable to the MCPS Educational Foundation with “Give BACKpacks” in the memo line. Checks can be sent to: MCPS Educational Foundation Inc., PO Box 1007, Rockville, MD 20849.

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