HCPSS School Closure Daily Update: March 18, 2020
March 18th, 2020
The following update was sent to the HCPSS community by Superintendent Michael Martirano on March 18, 2020:
I’ve had the opportunity to check in at a few of our meal distribution sites, where I have been proud to observe our Food Services staff members hard at work ensuring children continue to have access to nutritious meals while schools are closed. Today on our second day of distribution, 5,304 meals were served at our nine sites. I am grateful that HCPSS is able to provide this service and I’m even more pleased that we have been able to expand our typical meal offerings to include three meals each day. I encourage all families to take advantage of this service.
I’d like to take a moment to underscore the importance of observing public health experts’ guidance about social distancing. This is the most powerful counteragent we have to widespread infection, and its success depends heavily on cooperation among all of us. Please stay vigilant by ensuring you and your children avoid large groups and mass gatherings, and maintaining distance from others whenever possible. I urge you to adhere to social distancing guidelines from the county and state.
As a reminder, all HCPSS athletic practices and games are canceled until schools reopen. While the business of the school system continues remotely, all schools and office buildings are closed, including playgrounds, fields, basketball courts and other outdoor spaces.
As a father and grandfather, as well as an educator, I know firsthand how difficult keeping children occupied for long periods can be, and that challenge is magnified when parents simultaneously need to do their own work while involving children in learning activities. I appreciate your patience and continued support. Our solidarity is our strongest mainstay and will fortify us as we navigate together through these uncertain circumstances.
- The following daily update provides additional details for families and staff. Please continue to use www.hcpss.org for up to date information.
HCPSS.me Online Resources
While HCPSS staff work on a comprehensive distance learning plan should schools be closed for an extended period of time beyond the current closure, families are reminded that through https://hcpss.me/, students may access the following approved online tools:
- Canvas: HCPSS’ learning management system
- MackinVIA: Provides students access to ebooks and databases
- HC Library: Provides students access to online resources and content through the Howard County Library System
- Clever: Provides students with access to approved online apps, browsable by content area
- G Suite: Allows students to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- WeVideo: Allows students to engage in video production
- Office 365: Allows students to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations, as well as email for secondary students
As part of the state’s overall response to the Coronavirus COVID–19 pandemic, Maryland Health Connection opened a new Special Enrollment Period to uninsured Marylanders who need health coverage during the State of Emergency for Coronavirus (COVID–19). Details online. Please note, HCPSS employees will continue to receive their health benefits during the closure.