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HCPSS School Closure Daily Update: March 13, 2020

March 13th, 2020

HCPSS is continuing preparations for the period when schools will be closed, from 6 p.m. Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 29. The following daily update provides additional details for families and staff. Please continue to use www.hcpss.org for up to date information.

Contacting the school system

Although schools will be closed, the school system will not be completely shut down during the closure. School administrators and many central office staff members will be working remotely and will check voicemail periodically; however, email is recommended for the most timely response. For school-related questions, please email the school principal. For all other questions, locate and contact the appropriate department at Central Office.

Absences

Any student absences today, March 13, will be excused.

Food distribution

Free “Grab-N-Go” nutritious meals will be available for anyone age 18 and under at four school sites and five mobile sites. Meals will be available from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., weekdays, Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27. Participants will be given a Grab-N-Go lunch for that day, as well as a Grab-N-Go breakfast for the following day. Please note, there will be no distribution Monday, March 16.

We appreciate the many offers of help from our community. We know that the Howard County Food Bank, American Red Cross and other local charities would welcome your support.

Comcast Internet Essentials

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast is offering two months free to new Internet Essentials customers, in response to recent and anticipated emergency measures associated with the Coronavirus (COVID–19). Free and Reduced Meals (FARMs) program participants are eligible to complete an application. Find details at www.internetessentials.com/covid19.

Events, community use and partnerships

All HCPSS-sponsored and co-sponsored events are canceled during the closure period, 6 p.m., Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 29, 2020. All community-sponsored programs in HCPSS buildings are canceled.

The previously scheduled March 26 Board of Education meeting has been canceled and will be rescheduled to a later date.

Battle of the Books

The 2020 Battle of the Books is canceled. Rescheduling is unfortunately not an option due to the number of sites needed and other factors. All students registered for the event will receive a certificate of completion. Find additional details online.

State Basketball Championships and Spring Sports

Regarding all spring sports, no practices, scrimmages or games will occur until the reopening of schools. At that time, student athletes and families will be notified of the new practice schedule, which likely will follow a 7- calendar day practice period to fulfill the 20-day requirement prior to the first playdate. A reduced game schedule will be provided and all games currently scheduled prior to April 6 will be canceled. It is the goal of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletics Association to do everything possible within reason to play the state basketball championship games that have been postponed. More information will be provided as we have greater understanding of when schools will reopen.

Summer Programs

At this time, no decisions have yet been made about the status of HCPSS Summer Programs. Updated information is posted on the Summer Programs webpage. In the meantime, please be aware of the following:

Staff information

Staff have received a direct email providing additional details on procedures during the closure. Please review the HCPSS Status website for staff work expectations during this time.

HCPSS appreciates your patience and continued support during this challenging period. Please continue to visit the HCPSS website, as all updates and answers to frequently asked questions will be posted regularly.

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