**FILE** Courtesy of Montgomery County Public Schools via Twitter

Montgomery County Public Schools says it will stick with in-person learning despite surging coronavirus cases but in the new year will determine whether a school shutters based on set factors.

“This is truly about all of us working to preserve the soul of public education,” interim MCPS Superintendent Monica McKnight said during a virtual press conference Monday, WJLA-TV (Channel 7) reported. “There is no plan to close all MCPS schools. Let me say that again, there is no plan to close all MCPS schools.”

McKnight said that beginning in January, if 5% or more of students, teachers or staff at a school test positive — or at least 10 individuals over a 14-day period — the school system will confer with the county’s Department of Health and Human Services to decide if that school will be closed for 14 days and move to virtual learning.

The superintendent added that for the 2022 school year, MCPS plans to increase testing and school officials will urge parents to complete the COVID-19 testing consent form to make that happen. Additional measures include informing parents of outbreaks and other health news.

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