Dr. Karen Salmon, state superintendent of Maryland public schools, announced today that schools will continue to be closed through May 15.
School systems around the state, including Charles County Public Schools (CCPS), are closed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. As Maryland officials report more cases of COVID-19 in the state, schools will remain closed.
“School systems have also started to develop plans for additional distance learning and the recovery of lost instructional time in the form of planning expanded summer school programs,” Salmon said. “State and local school officials are preparing for a number of scenarios, depending on when our educators and students will be able to reenter school buildings.”
Since the original school closure on March 16, CCPS staff has been planning distance learning options for students. For the past two weeks, students have been completing assignments for grades online and in paper learning packets. This week, teachers reached out to students online using Microsoft Teams, a video conferencing tool that allows teachers to talk with students, share assignments and feedback, provide help and respond to questions. Teachers will teach two 30-minute lessons twice a week, allowing them to engage live with students to go over the content students are working on. Parents will receive a schedule of when teachers are planning to go live. The conferences will be saved, allowing students to access them if they are unable to participate during the scheduled live sessions. To read more about Teams, go to www.ccboe.com.
“In a very short timeframe, school systems have continued to increase their digital presence and capabilities to provide learning opportunities for all students,” Salmon said.
The deadline for parents to request a laptop for their child to use for distance learning is next Friday, April 24. The CCPS technology department is still working to configure the more than 5,000 laptops requested. Principals will contact parents for laptop pick up as soon as their child’s laptop is ready. Parents can request laptops through Ask CCPS available on the school system website.
Students can continue to complete their assignments online or using paper learning packets, and parents should email their child’s teachers to confirm the child is using the paper option. New paper packets for those who need them for Week 3 and 4 assignments began to be distributed at the 11 meal sites.
“We are going to move forward as we have been since schools closed at the end of the day on March 13,” Kimberly Hill, superintendent of schools, said. “We’re going to continue teaching and feeding our students, and supporting them and our staff.”
CCPS students continue to have access to optional online learning resources they can use as an enrichment tool and to stay connected to school. To connect to the online resources, go to ccboe.com and click the ‘Online learning resources’ slide on the front of the website.
Before the school closure, CCPS high school graduations were scheduled to be held May 28 to 30. Due to the extension of the school closure, the school system is developing options for graduation and other senior-related concerns.
Free meals are being offered at school sites around the county from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students receive three meals, including a lunch and dinner meal, and a breakfast pack. They must be present to receive the meals. If students are unable to be present at the meal sites, parents picking up meals must show their child’s student ID, paper report card or the report card on the ParentVue app. The sites are:
- Henry E. Lackey High School;
- Maurice J. McDonough High School;
- St. Charles High School;
- Westlake High School
- Milton M. Somers Middle School;
- Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School;
- Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School;
- J.C. Parks Elementary School;
- Indian Head Elementary School;
- Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School; and
- J.P. Ryon Elementary School.
CCPS school psychologists are available by phone 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parents and guardians can call 240-776-5802 to talk to school psychologists about their children’s social, emotional and behavioral development.
During the closure, most CCPS staff members are teleworking, but are still available to assist parents, guardians and staff. Ask CCPS is an online help desk that connects users with answers to technology and general questions. Go to ccboe.com and click the Ask CCPS button under the slideshow. Users can fill out a ticket and receive an answer within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. For a quick answer, click Frequently Asked Questions under What’s New section of the website or on the Ask CCPS page.
The state school closure has resulted in the cancellation or postponements of many CCPS events and activities. An updated list of cancellations and postponements can be found at https://www.ccboe.com/pr/ccps-events-canceled-due-to-school-system-closure/.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,521 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.