‘Don’t get rid of my school’: Montgomery County Public Schools’ parents, students stage sit-in to fight virtual academy closing

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) – Parents and student staged a sit-in at the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Education building to bring awareness to the proposal to eliminate the Montgomery Virtual Academy (MVA) for next school year.

“The superintendent, the chief operating officer and any and every board member that hasn’t had the chance to come see us, talk with families, we’re coming to them,” MCPS parent, Sterling High, said.

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The group who gathered in front of the MCPS Board of Education said they’re fighting to keep MVA open.

“It’s very upsetting that their trying to close this program that is helping a lot of kids,” MCPS parent, Angela Rojas, said.

Her son, Ethan Rojas, said he’s benefitted immensely from MVA.

“I’ve gotten honor roll,” Ethan Rojas said. “Which is the first time I’ve ever gotten it. I never got honor roll in the school building.”

The virtual learning program could be closed due to budget cuts. MCPS said it was necessary to make next year’s budget work, but students said they were told earlier this year that the program would return.

“We planned that it would stay and at the last minute they changed it,” MCPS student Lily Benedetto said, “which is pretty upsetting.”

Some parents aren’t sure what they’ll do if the program is discontinued.

“The timing of it all is not appropriate at all,” MCPS parent, Natoya Goldman, said, “I’m like how do we have two months to figure out where our kids will be going in the fall?”

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Students hope Monday’s demonstration will show just how vital this program is to their academic success.

“Don’t get rid of my school,” MCPS student, Toryn Goldman, said. “I love Montgomery Virtual Academy.”

An official decision on the future of MVA is expected to be made on June 11.

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