MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Montgomery County Public Schools began its first day of all-virtual learning on Monday, and technical difficulties have already been reported.
The county's online learning portal for students to access learning materials, MyMCPS was experiencing technical issues early in the morning, as students in Maryland's largest school district logged on.
Thomas W. Pyle Middle School Principal Chris Nardi emailed parents about the problems.
"I wanted to make you aware that we are having some technical difficulties throughout the county right now as we begin, in particular with MyMCPS Classroom. There are a number of systems starting today and this is creating some issues. We ask your patience as these are worked through. Teachers will try to email the students with next steps," the email reads.
Montgomery County Public Schools echoed that due to the increased demand for the technology, parents and students should be patient.
"This increased demand will likely challenge many online systems including Canvas (myMCPS Classroom), Synergy, Zoom, and other educational programs including LearnZillion, StudySync, and more," the school district wrote in an online blog post. "We ask that staff, students, and families be patient while the many companies and service providers sort out any bumps that develop when demand jumps in the coming days."
The technical problems come as county leaders clash with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan over whether students should return to the classroom for in-person instruction.
Citing improved health metrics, Hogan called for Maryland schools to reopen last week.
He asked that school boards look to create hybrid plans to get kids back in the classroom.
"There is no substitute for in-person instruction," Hogan said on Thursday. "Every single day I hear from parents all across the state who are extremely frustrated with the fact that even though our health metrics statewide, and in every single county, look great and are continuing to dramatically improve, some of the county school boards have not even attempted to develop any safe reopening plans that would bring any kids back for any form of in-person instruction."
It's a move that leaders in Montgomery County were confused and surprised by.
In a joint statement Saturday, County Executive Marc Elrich and the County Council said they were, "perplexed and dismayed" by the idea.
Several other school districts, including Prince George's County, and D.C. Public Schools also began virtual learning on Monday.