COVID Resources BStudents are attending school in-person for five days of instruction. Staff regularly meet with state and local officials to monitor health and safety data. If local conditions require CCPS to reconsider full, in-person instruction, CCPS will work with staff to implement alternative learning options for students.

 

Free COVID-19 Preventative screening available for students, staff
Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) offers free weekly COVID-19 preventative screenings for students and staff. To participate, parents and staff must complete a one-time registration with the state health department contractor, 20/20 GeneSystems.  Click here to access the registration portal.

The test used is an anterior nasal swab PCR test. Results are provided to parents and staff in the portal within 48 hours. Users can sign up for email notifications. Only positive results are shared confidentially with the CCPS Office of School Safety and Security for follow up to ensure sick students or staff are not coming to schools.  Click here to read more about the free screening.

CCPS moves to virtual open houses, cancels homecoming dances, and updates field trip guidance, volunteer processes and COVID testing protocol at schools
Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is adjusting schedules for several upcoming planned indoor events. The changes affect school open houses, high school homecoming dances, middle school dances, volunteer support in schools and planned field trips. The changes will decrease the amount of people gathering inside of school buildings.


Although students and staff are back in buildings for in-person learning, CCPS is limiting the number of outside visitors when possible to support safe learning environments. CCPS has also updated standard operating procedures (SOP) regarding COVID-19 testing at schools. Below are important updates for parents, students and staff.

Virtual school events
School administrators have been asked to offer meetings virtually or outdoors when possible. This may include parent conferences and meetings, PTO meetings, information nights and back-to-school events, and open houses.

CCPS tightens COVID-19 testing procedures at schools
CCPS has updated its protocols for the testing of sick students and staff by a school nurse. Students with a known exposure who want to test out of quarantine after seven days with a negative COVID-19 test must now visit their doctor, use an outside vendor or test through the Charles County Department of Health. The health department offers free testing three times a week. Families may also elect to quarantine their child for 10 days and return to school without testing. Staff who are exposed outside of school will no longer be allowed to receive a COVID-19 test at school to end a quarantine early. Staff should visit their doctor, use an outside vendor or test through the health department on day seven, or wait until day 10 to return to work without a test.

Rapid tests will only be administered by nurses at their discretion for students or staff who display severe COVID-19 symptoms. Any student or staff member who pre-screens as potentially positive for COVID-19 will be offered a PCR test. Staff and students may not return to school or school activities until the results of the test are known. Additionally, individuals who refuse the PCR test after pre-screening as potentially positive will be presumed COVID-19 positive and excluded from school and school activities for ten days. CCPS also updated the COVID-19 prescreening questionnaire.

High school homecoming dances, middle school dances canceled
All CCPS high school homecoming dances are canceled until further notice from CCPS. Homecoming games scheduled and set in the CCPS Handbook/Calendar are planned to still take place. Homecoming games are scheduled at outdoor athletic venues.

While there is no mask requirement for adults or students in outdoor settings, CCPS highly encourages outdoor mask use for unvaccinated adults/students attending athletic outdoor events.

Field trips restricted to in-county, regional areas
CCPS is limiting in-person field trips for students to regional locations that include Charles County and southern Prince George’s County. This does not apply to the high school athletics program – most regular season events are scheduled in Southern Maryland and these students are required to undergo weekly COVID-19 screening if they are not vaccinated.

CCPS has standard operating procedures in place that require COVID-19 symptomatic students to be picked up from school within one hour of parent notification. Field trip permission forms will require parents to consent to being available to pick up their child during a field trip if they become symptomatic. Limiting field trip travel will also assist staff in the contact tracing process, if needed.

Limited volunteer program participation
Schools will support a limited number of volunteers to aid with field trips. Volunteers will have to go through a background check, and consent to completing the CCPS prescreening health questionnaire before coming into contact with students or staff. Principals will designate a coordinator at each school to oversee the volunteer process. Community members interested in limited volunteer opportunities should contact their child’s school for specific details.

Instruction for sick, quarantined students
Schools have instructional plans for students who are out of school, either from COVID-19 or another illness, or have been asked by CCPS to quarantine. All instructional plans for schools are posted on individual school websites.

Sick individuals should stay home
Limiting the number of people who enter a school building — particularly those who are not inside of CCPS schools daily such as students, staff and teachers — will aid staff who conduct COVID-19 contact tracing.

Staff in the CCPS Office of School Safety and Security oversees contact tracing for every positive case of COVID-19 reported to the CCPS Office of School Administration and the Office of Human Resources. School staff assist with contact tracing, as well.  

The safety of schools is a community effort among staff, teachers and parents. CCPS asks parents to complete the COVID-19 prescreening questionnaire daily before sending their child on the bus or to school. The questionnaire is posted here on the CCPS website. Staff are also asked to assess their health before coming to work.

Parents with a sick child should keep their children home, and not send their child to school or on the bus. CCPS also asks for children to be kept home if they have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person in the last seven days (and are not vaccinated), live with someone who is COVID-19 positive (and are not vaccinated), are in quarantine due to another exposure or waiting for a COVID-19 test result. Staff are also asked to follow the same guidelines.

CCPS partnering with new COVID-19 preventative screening provider
Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has partnered with the Maryland Department of Health contracted vendor, 20/20 GeneSystems, to provide all preventative COVID-19 screenings. This includes the high school athletics and Grades 7-12 extracurricular activity screening programs. 

All parents who want their child to participate in the program must complete a one-time registration using the new system. To register multiple students with one account, click My Account then add a student.  After adding additional students, click on the blue circle on the bottom right to save the information. For help with the new system, call 240-453-6339 ext. 113.  Click here to access the system.

Testing schedule
Staff and all other CCPS students are also eligible for the free weekly COVID-19 screening, regardless of participation in athletics or extracurricular activities. The following list outlines the screening schedule for all schools and centers.

Monday

  • Henry E. Lackey, La Plata, North Point and Westlake high schools, General Smallwood Middle School, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, Mary B. Neal, Malcolm and Billingsley elementary schools.

Tuesday

  • Maurice J. McDonough, St. Charles and Thomas Stone high schools, Milton M. Somers Middle School, Dr. James Craik, Gale-Bailey, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon, Indian Head, J.C. Parks and Mary H. Matula elementary schools.

Wednesday

  • Henry E. Lackey, La Plata, North Point and Westlake high schools, Theodore G. Davis Middle School, C. Paul Barnhart, Walter J. Mitchell, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy and T.C. Martin elementary schools.

Thursday

  • Maurice J. McDonough, St. Charles and Thomas Stone high schools, Piccowaxen and John Hanson middle schools, Berry, Arthur Middleton and J.P. Ryon elementary schools.

Friday

  • F. B. Gwynn Educational Center, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, Robert D. Stethem Educational Center, Mattawoman, Matthew Henson and Benjamin Stoddert middle schools, Dr. Gustavus Brown, Eva Turner, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, William A. Diggs and William B. Wade elementary schools.

Testing rule for student athletes, Grades 7-12 extracurricular activities

CCPS has testing requirements for high school student athletes, as well as students in Grades 7-12 who participate in specific extracurricular activities. These students are required to either:

  • Provide proof of having been fully COVID-19 vaccinated (completion of the vaccine series, plus 14 days) to their high school athletic director or activity sponsor; or
  • Participate in the free CCPS COVID-19 screening program.

Athletes or students in identified extracurricular activities who do not provide proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or fail to participate in the screening program will not be allowed to participate with the team or group, at practice or at games/events.

Parents of students participating in the screening program must complete a one-time registration and consent for their child. As part of the program, students will be tested weekly for COVID-19. The screening is done by the Maryland Department of Health contracted provider 20/20 GeneSystems. 

Staff are also eligible to participate in preventative weekly COVID-19 screenings. Additionally, parents can register their child to participate. Screenings are done at schools on a weekly basis. 

Face mask requirement use for staff, students and visitors to schools, buildings, centers and CCPS facilities
CCPS requires mask use for anyone inside a CCPS building. This applies to everyone, including individuals already vaccinated against COVID-19. The mask mandate is in effect until further notice. Masks are also required on CCPS transportation for bus drivers, attendants and any student using CCPS bus services. 

Today's COVID-19 Numbers Charles County
Charles County Public Schools has established a Departmental Operations Center (DOC) to enable us to keep our fingers on the pulse of the COVID-19 crisis in Charles County and the region. The purpose of the DOC is to collect data that may be relevant for our decision makers, provide the most up-to-date and accurate information and statistics to our staff, and to maintain and strengthen open lines of communication between our partners and stakeholders.  Much like the County’s Emergency Operations Center, our DOC will be virtual and operated through the Office of School Safety and Security, reporting to Superintendent Maria Navarro. Currently, the DOC has several functions including creating and publishing an intel/situational daily brief, the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for schools, standard operating procedure creation and maintaining open lines of communication with our public safety partners.


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