The Montgomery County community has many more questions for the public school system this year.
The average number of calls and emails per month to the Montgomery County Public Schools information line has increased by 27.6 percent and 64.2 percent, respectively, so far this year, and school system officials believe it has to do with an increase in awareness.
The school system launched a “Stay Connected” website this year that features the number, 301-309-6277 (MCPS), and the email, ASKMCPS@mcpsmd.org, and made 10,000 postcards with the information, many of which already have been given out at individual schools and systemwide events, said schools spokesman Dana Tofig.
The majority of calls are for directory information, as the number is the school system’s main number in the phone book and on its website contact page, Tofig said. This includes calls asking for staff and department phone numbers.
The number of calls and emails coming in has increased since at least the 2010-2011 school year. The system received an average of 713.4 calls per month that school year; 902.4 calls per month in the 2011-2012 school year; and 1,246 calls per month so far this school year. The school system received 116.6 emails per month last school year and 191.5 emails per month so far this year.
The school system also has improved its tracking system, so more calls and emails are being tracked, Tofig said.
Janette Gilman, president of the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations, said she could see that the increase in publicity would drive more calls.
When asked if she thought the increased calls meant that parents had more questions about their children’s education, Gilman said she did not think that was the case.
“I would hope that parents would reach out to their children’s teachers and schools,” she said.