Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has a five phase reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year. Schools opened this year in Phase 1 – virtual learning for all students. As CCPS moves through its reopening phases, parents of students who are identified to return to school for in-person learning (see reopening plan for who can return during which phase) can opt to send their child back to school for in-person learning or continue virtual learning for the entire school year.Providing effective instruction in a safe environment is our priority.

Family internet centers keep students connected to learning; Martin center opens Dec. 1

The family internet centers provide WiFi to students in need of the resource to complete their schoolwork. A family internet center at T.C. Martin Elementary School will open Tuesday, Dec. 1, with operating hours Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.  Henry E. Lackey High School and Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School centers operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The center at Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

The study hall-type spaces are in Lackey’s gym, the gym/cafeteria of Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy and in the cafeteria at Higdon and Martin. Desks will be socially distanced with families able to sit together. Space is limited and must be reserved between 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. the day before you want to book a space by calling 301-934-7213. Families can schedule up to five consecutive days at once.

Students 15 or younger must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or adult who is a caregiver. The adult will fill out a health screening for themselves and their children before going into the center.

Students using the centers must sign in and wear a face covering/mask while in the center at all times.

Students should bring their laptop or learning device to the center. A limited number of desktop computers may be available. Students should not make disruptive sounds or behaviors, and are asked to use headphones or earbuds.

Parents/guardians must remain with their child(ren) while at the school unless the student is 16 or older. Parents will sign in using a picture ID and wear a face covering/mask while in the center. Other requirements include that the student arrives and leaves on time (no earlier than 7 a.m. at Lackey and Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy, and 7:30 a.m. at Higdon, and leave no later than 4 p.m.), and that cell phones are silenced. Calls may take place outside of the gym. Parents are asked to ensure their child(ren) is not disruptive and should bring lunch, water and snacks for their child. Adults can bring their own technology device and use the CCPS BYOD WiFi. They should use headphones or earbuds while in the family internet center.

Parking spaces are designated for visitors of the centers. Those visiting the Martin center should park in the side parking lot and enter the school through the main front doors.  At Lackey, the center’s entrance is in the back of the gym. After driving up the school’s entrance hill, pass the circle and make a right into the parking lot. At Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy internet center visitors should park in front of the school (in the bus lanes) and enter the center on the left side of the building. At Hidon, families should park in the parking lot adjacent to the gym/cafeteria and enter the school through the cafeteria doors.


Phase 2 postponed

CCPS believes postponing Phase 2 is in the best interest of our community. Throughout this pandemic, we have promised to make decisions based on the health and safety of students and staff. 

CCPS will not consider a move to Phase 2 until after the first of the year because of the upcoming holiday season. CCPS will continue virtual learning for all students until further notice.  We will continue to monitor the data with the hope of moving to Phase 2 in mid-January.

CCPS is committed to the return of in-person instruction and will continue to provide professional development opportunities to support hybrid instruction.  We want our students back in school because that is where they learn best.

Reopening Plan – five Phases of learning

The CCPS Reopening Plan includes detailed plans the school system will follow to start the new school year. The plan includes five Phases in which teaching and learning will occur for teachers and students. The Phases are summarized below.

  • Phase 1: All students will participate in virtual instruction four days per week. CCPSwill provide a schedule for each level, lessons will be live and traditional grading and attendance practices will be in place. Teachers will provide prerecorded instruction one day per week.|
  • Phase 2: Special population students (students receiving special education services, English Learners (EL) students, students with a 504 plan, students without internet connectivity, homeless and displaced students, students enrolled in specific Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and children of employees of CCPS) will be offered face-to-face instruction four days per week with recorded virtual instruction one day per week.
  • Phase 3: Prekindergarten through Grade 2 students, Grade 6 and Grade 9 students will be offered face-to-face instruction four days per week and recorded virtual instruction one day per week.
  • Phase 4: All students in Prekindergarten through Grade 12 will be offered face-to-face instruction two days per week on a rotating basis. Virtual learning will take place on off-site school days. Student groups identified in Phase 3 will continue face-to-face instruction four days per week.
  • Phase 5: All students in Prekindergarten through Grade 12 return to face-to-face instruction five days per week.


How virtual learning will work

  • Elementary School
    Starting Aug. 31, kindergarten through Grade 5 students will participate four days per week in online learning with their home school classroom teacher. Prekindergarten starts Sept. 8. School days will follow a modified 6.5-hour schedule. Teachers will provide live instruction using a new learning management platform through Synergy. Instruction will be rigorous and planned for students to master grade-level standards. Children will be required to attend all live lessons unless absent due to illness. Teachers will use traditional grading.

  • Middle and High School
    Students in Grades 6-12 will participate four days per week in online learning with their home school teachers. School days will follow a modified 6.5-hour schedule. Instruction will be rigorous and planned, so students master grade level and course standards. Students are required to attend all live, virtual lessons unless absent due to illness. Teachers will use traditional grading scales and award credits for the successful completion of each class.


WiFi available in school parking lots

Those in need of WiFi can head to the parking lots of select schools. Access to WiFi will be available at the following:

  • Gale-Bailey Elementary School
  • T.C. Martin Elementary School
  • Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School
  • Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School
  • Matthew Henson Middle School
  • Piccowaxen Middle School
  • Milton M. Somers Middle School


To access the WiFi:

  • Pull into the front parking lot
  • Open your WiFi connection or Network connection screen
  • Look for the network name “BYOD”
  • Enter password, CCPSis#1!
  • Have your child use their Office 365 login credentials to login to the network
  • If they have difficulty accessing any sites, install the certificate from https://www.ccboe.com/byod/


Hotspot access has been made available in the parking lots of the following CCPS schools:

  • Arthur Middleton Elementary School
  • General Smallwood Middle School
  • Henry E. Lackey High school
  • La Plata High School


Directions to access the hotspot:

  • Pull into the parking lot near the CCPS WiFi van
  • Open your WiFi connection or Network connection screen
  • Look for the network name “PublicAccess”
  • Password will be CharlesCounty

 
Community internet resources available

The Comcast Internet Essentials program provides internet for $9.95 a month to qualifying families. Go to https://www.internetessentials.com/ to learn more.

The Charles County Public Library is offering free internet hotspot devices for checkout to library card holders in good standing, but supplies are limited. To learn more, go to https://www.ccplonline.org/about/mobile-hotspots/.


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 Kimberly Hill. 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. 

As we move toward the scheduled opening of schools, the operating picture from the State of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Education will become more clear. As this occurs the DOC will assist in producing frameworks and guidance that will assist and support CCPS decision making.

Watch a video on how the CCPS Office of Safety & Security provides information to school system leaders and the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.


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