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March School Closures Information and Important Resources

March 12th, 2020

UPDATED: March 16, 2020

The following update was sent to the HCPSS community by Superintendent Michael Martirano on March 12, 2020 at 8:26 p.m.:

We have further reviewed the decision made by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon to close Maryland public schools for two weeks, and would like to share additional information and resources for staff and families. We recognize this will create inconveniences for many in our community and we will do everything we can to address your concerns.

HCPSS leaders have been working diligently for several weeks to prepare for a closure such as this. I am pleased to share that we will operate nine sites to provide “Grab N Go” meals for students as detailed below, and provide instructional materials for students and families to use during this closure.

This is an evolving situation that impacts many areas, including advanced placement exams, college applications, standardized test administration, sporting events amongst many others. Our team will continue to work through these challenges and address them through our regular family and staff communications. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Please continue to visit the HCPSS website as updates and answers to frequently asked questions will be posted regularly. If you have any specific questions or concerns, I encourage you to email your principal.

School Closing Information and Guidelines

Closing Dates

All schools and office buildings will be closed beginning at 6:00 p.m., Friday, March 13 and through Sunday, March 29. All field trips for Friday, March 13 are canceled.

All school and Central Office staff should report as scheduled to work tomorrow, Friday, March 13. Specific information regarding expectations for all staff during the closures will be shared during the day Friday.

Access to Instructional Resources

On Friday, March 13, we will provide students with information and instructional resources that can be used optionally while at home. A paper version of these documents will be sent home with all students according to their grade. These resources will not be collected or graded.

In addition, students may continue to work on classroom assignments provided by teachers prior to school closures. There are no expectations that assignments be turned in during the closure.

Food distribution

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, we will be providing free “Grab-N-Go” nutritious meals to anyone age 18 and under, and any HCPSS student regardless of age, 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.

School Sites:

Mobile Sites:

Plays, Concerts, SATs & Community School Use

All activities scheduled for Friday afternoon/evening, including plays, concerts and athletics are canceled. Additionally, the SAT scheduled for Saturday is canceled. All community activities being held in HCPSS facilities are canceled beginning Friday, March 13, 2020 at 6:00pm for the duration of the time schools are closed.

Clean Out Lockers and Classroom

Students should clean out all lockers (including gym lockers) and desks, and staff should put away personal items in classrooms and be sure to take any necessary materials home so that schools can be thoroughly cleaned during the next two weeks.

Medicine and Health Supplies Pick-Up

Nurses and health assistants will be contacting impacted families to ask them to pick up medication and health supplies by the end of the school day on Friday, March 13. Parents/guardians need to pick up the medications; however medical supplies may be sent home with students. If a parent does not need to pick up the supplies or medication since they have enough medication and/or supplies, those items will be locked in the health rooms while schools are closed.

Information Shared with Students

Understanding that students may be upset by what they are hearing related to Coronavirus and that schools will be closed, age-appropriate information will be shared with them tomorrow in classrooms and they are able to ask questions of a teacher. Any students who appear upset will be supported by a Student Services team member and parents will be contacted.

Make-Up Days

The State Superintendent recommended the use of planned Spring Break days as make-up days. We are reviewing this recommendation with the Maryland State Department of Education and will provide additional information to families as soon as possible.