The Black and White

Montgomery County begins Phase One of COVID-19 reopening plan

Businesses prepare for reopening in downtown Bethesda.

By Christian Larson

June 1, 2020

Montgomery County has entered phase one of its COVID-19 reopening plan at 6 a.m. on June 1st. This initial stage will allow many services to resume business for the first time since early March.  Phase one will allow the following services to reopen: bar, restaurants, hair salons, childcare s...

Pride town hall gives LGBTQ+ community a platform during COVID-19 crisis

Panelists discuss ways families can support  LGBTQ+ students at the town hall held on May 27.

By Zoe Cantor

May 28, 2020

MCPS administrators hosted a virtual Pride Town Hall on May 27, their second-ever LGBTQ+ public forum, to discuss strides taken by the LGBTQ+ community in Montgomery County.  Following the forum, the speakers held a question and answer session to address issues that disproportionately affect the LG...

BOE decides on policy for second semester grades, gives students a choice

MCPS Board of Education members decided on how semester grades will be reported on semester 2 transcripts.

By Emily London

May 13, 2020

MCPS students now have the choice between a pass/incomplete or one letter grade above their third marking period grade on their second semester transcript. Board of Education members adopted the policy during a May 12 board meeting after moving to a pass/incomplete grading system for the fourth marking period April 19. Students who choose to have a  “pass” on their transcript will not have their GPA impacted, ...

New LGBTQ+ studies course in development for 2020-21 school year

MCPS is piloting an LGBTQ History course in the 2020-21 school year. The class will be the first high school course of its kind in the country.

By Meera Shroff

May 13, 2020

Ten Montgomery County schools, not including Whitman, will pilot a semester-long LGBTQ studies course during the 2020-21 school year in hopes of establishing a more inclusive curriculum. Chief Academic Officer Dr. Maria Navarro approved the course development November 12, 2019. The Office of Curriculum...

Maryland public schools closed for remainder of 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19 outbreak

Governor Larry Hogan during his press conference earlier today. Hogan provided updates on Maryland's COVID-19 recovery program.

By Anna Yuan

May 6, 2020

Schools State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced in a May 6 press conference that all Maryland public schools, including MCPS, are now closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. MCPS has been closed since March 16 and teachers have been conducting distance learning since March 30. In a letter to the community, MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith noted his support for Salmon’s decision. “We s...

Virtual town hall addresses COVID-19-related student concerns

MCPS hosted a virtual town hall April 21.

By Taylor Haber

April 24, 2020

Montgomery County councilmember Tom Hucker and county council candidate Lynne Harris co-hosted a virtual student town hall April 21 where student leaders voiced their concerns for the rest of the school year and shared how their organizations are moving forward through the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dur...

MCPS moves to a pass/incomplete grading framework for fourth marking period

MCPS will move to a pass/incomplete grading system for fourth quarter.

By Anna Yuan

April 19, 2020

MCPS will move to a pass/incomplete grading framework for the fourth marking period for middle and high school students, Deputy Superintendent Monifa B. McKnight announced in an April 19 email to community members. The change comes two days after State Superintendent Karen Salmon extended school closures through May 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Official...

State Superintendent extends school closures through May 15 due to COVID-19 outbreak

Governor Larry Hogan during his press conference April 17. Schools will remain closed through May 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

By Anna Yuan and Dana Herrnstadt

April 18, 2020

MCPS schools will remain closed through May 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced in an April 17 press conference. Previously, schools were scheduled to open on April 24. State and local school officials have been developing further plans for digital learning and are considering expanding summer school progr...

MCPS accidentally releases highly anticipated boundary study report

MCPS accidentally releases highly anticipated boundary study report

By Emily London

March 28, 2020

MCPS officials and urban planning firm WXY released an interim report March 18 on the boundary study, which seeks to collect data on MCPS school demographics and boundaries. The report’s release ended the first phase of the project, which included over a year of data analysis and community meeting...

Maryland state officials extend public school closures by four weeks in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Larry Hogan at his press conference March 25. Maryland’s previously mandated two week public school closure until March 27 is now extended for an additional four weeks until April 24.

By Anna Yuan

March 25, 2020

Maryland’s previously mandated two week public school closure until March 27 is now extended for an additional four weeks until April 24, State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced in a March 25 press conference. “We do not make this decision lightly,” she said. “With the challen...

The College Board cancels face-to-face AP exams, offers online alternative due to COVID-19 concerns

Citing COVID-19 concerns, The College Board canceled all face-to-face AP exams; instead, students have the option of taking 45-minute free-response-only exams online May 2020, according to a March 20 briefing.

By Taylor Haber

March 20, 2020

Citing COVID-19 concerns, The College Board canceled all face-to-face AP exams; instead, students have the option of taking 45-minute free-response-only exams online May 2020, according to a March 20 briefing. The College Board hasn’t collected any fees from schools yet, so if registered students ...

Hogan institutes aggressive measures, College Board and ACT cancel SAT and ACT exams in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Governor Larry Hogan ordered all restaurants, bars, gyms, spas and theatres to close March 16. 
 Both the College Board and ACT Inc. also announced March 16 that they’re canceling test dates for the SAT and ACT, respectively.

By Anna Yuan and Taylor Haber

March 17, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Larry Hogan ordered all restaurants, bars, gyms, spas and theatres to close March 16. Additionally, Hogan has postponed the April 28 Maryland Primary date until June 2, the last possible date that still complies with DNC rules. Both the College Board and ACT Inc. also announced Mar...