First day of school is Aug. 31, CCPS offering family internet center

First day of school is Aug. 31, CCPS offering family internet center


Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is preparing for the first day of school for students on Monday, Aug. 31, with the first weeks of school focused on students and staff reconnecting and building relationships.

To aid with virtual learning, a family internet center at Henry E. Lackey High School will open starting Wednesday, Sept. 2, to provide a space for students who need access to WiFi. The study hall-type space will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, in Lackey’s gym with desks socially distanced. 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.

Parents/guardians will have to fill out a health screening for themselves and their children before going into the center.

Students using the space must sign in and wear a face covering/mask when entering and leaving the gym, and to and from the restrooms. Students must log on and stay connected to their scheduled instruction. A limited number of desktop computers will be available. Students should not make disruptive sounds or behaviors, and are asked to use headphones or earbuds.

Parents/guardians will park in designated areas and 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 when entering and leaving the gym, and to and from the restrooms. Other requirements include that the student arrives and leaves on time (no earlier than 7 a.m., no later than 7 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.

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

Other technology information

iPads for younger students

Technology staff is awaiting the return of laptops that were borrowed last spring. Many of the borrowed laptops are equipped with cameras. As these devices return, they are disinfected and reimaged for use by elementary and middle school students. The laptops returned by high schoolers are being disinfected and reimaged almost as soon as they come in. Students in prekindergarten through second grade may receive an iPad to complete work, while the borrowed laptops are lent out to older elementary schoolers and middle school students. Parents of students with iPads can launch the device browser, Safari, and create a bookmark to StudentVue for their child to use. 

Nationwide delays result in slower delivery of laptops for middle schoolers

The laptop supplier has notified CCPS that worldwide shipping delays will hold up laptop deliveries until later this fall. This is a nationwide issue, with school systems around the country facing similar delays of devices. Students can use their personal laptop or desktop computers, and parents of middle school students can request a loaner laptop while awaiting delivery of the newer models. To request a laptop, go to AskCCPS on www.ccboe.com. Once in the AskCCPS site, select the “Open a New Ticket” from the right side of the page. Requests should include a person’s name, email address and telephone number. Select the “Request a Laptop” option under the Help Topic menu to complete the request form. Parents will need their child’s CCPS-issued student identification number to file a request. Once the laptop is ready, the child’s school will notify the parent/guardian with a pickup time and date.  

Hotspot devices set to be delivered

The school system received federal funding this month for hotspot devices, which are scheduled to be delivered in September. Families will be notified once CCPS receives the devices which will go to underserved students — those who do not have access to broadband internet as of July 1. Parents/guardians of students who need a hotspot can request one on AskCCPS. Select the “Open a New Ticket” from the right side of the page. Requests should include a person’s name, email address and telephone number. Select the “Request a Hotspot” option under the Help Topic menu to complete the request form for a hotspot device. Parents will need their child’s CCPS-issued student identification number to file a request. Once the hotspot devices are delivered to schools, a school representative will notify the parent/guardian with a pickup time and date.   

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/.

User name, password 

Students will start the school year in a virtual format on StudentVue and will need to know their CCPS-issued student identification number and password. A student’s user name is their CCPS six-digit ID number. For example, 123456. Parents using the desktop site for ParentVue will see their child’s student identification number next to their child’s picture when they log in. Student ID numbers are also printed on report cards and visible on the ID card area of the ParentVue mobile app. Password information for students also is visible in ParentVue, under the Other Information menu area. School staff can provide student ID numbers and passwords to parents at request. Parents can also request this information through the General Question help area of Ask CCPS at https://www.ccboe.com/askccps/.

About CCPS

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 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. CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).

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