HCPSS School Closure Daily Update: March 24, 2020
March 24th, 2020
The following update was sent to the HCPSS community by Superintendent Michael Martirano on March 24, 2020:
Today, I would like to give you an overview of all of the ongoing collaborative effort that has been occurring daily among HCPSS and county and state leaders to provide continuity for learning and support the well-being of all children and families during the COVID–19 outbreak. Every county in Maryland is facing the same issues and challenges, and we are all better equipped to handle this crisis by moving forward collaboratively.
During this closure, superintendents from all 24 Maryland school districts have joined State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon in virtual meetings three days each week to discuss the impact of COVID–19, ask questions and request guidance from the state. At the same time, leaders from each HCPSS division have been meeting virtually with their statewide counterparts, including staff representing academics, special education, communications, operations and school leadership.
Just as importantly, we are working closely with leaders and our colleagues across Howard County. I am in regular contact with County Executive Ball and Howard County Health Officer Rossman on ways that HCPSS can support efforts to keep Howard County citizens safe and healthy. This morning, we donated 60,000 pairs of surgical gloves and 5,800 surgical masks that will be distributed by the Howard County Health Department to local hospitals and medical providers. This Thursday at 6:30 p.m., I will join the County Executive and other county leaders in a virtual town hall meeting to give the community an opportunity to ask questions and gain insights into the collaborative work being done.
I have shared in previous daily updates the work that HCPSS staff has been doing during the school closure, including our efforts to create a continuity for learning plan for our nearly 59,000 students. Staff are working around the clock – from the academics team preparing the continuity for learning plan, the technology team assessing and preparing resources, the school management team supporting school administrators, the human resources team continuing to answer benefit questions from staff and holding virtual interviews with candidates for next school year, the budget and finance team ensuring that staff and financial commitments continue to be paid and providing guidance to all HCPSS offices involved in the COVID–19 response, and the communications team managing the information being posted and delivered to the community and staff every day.
There is still much work to do. I appreciate your patience, and for continuing to support your students at home. I want to remind every family and staff member to take the Governor’s measures very seriously and avoid congregating socially. HCPSS buildings and many other county facilities are closed, including our stadiums and tennis courts, in an effort to discourage social gatherings. If every citizen in Maryland and our nation will do their part, we hope to more quickly reverse the trend of this virus and return to school, business and normalcy sooner than later. I thank each Howard County resident and the HCPSS, county and state employees who are doing their part. We will get through this together.
The following daily update provides additional details for families and staff. Please continue to use www.hcpss.org for up to date information.
Advanced Placement (AP) Online Review
Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, the College Board will provide free, online, live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These courses are optional, mobile-friendly and available on-demand, so they can be accessed at any time. The focus is on reviewing skills and concepts from the first 75% of the AP course, with some supplementary lessons covering the final 25% of the course. Access course schedules on the AP Students website.
Digital Resources for Elementary Students
Elementary Students can log on through hcpss.me to use:
- Wixie: an online publishing and creativity platform that lets students share what they know through their writing, their voice, and their art.
- Typing Agent: an online, research-based keyboard curriculum that includes pre-tests, lessons, assessments, and typing games and activities tailored to grades 3–5.
Naviance Resources for Middle and High School Students
Naviance is a comprehensive college, career and life readiness program that allows students to explore career interests, begin their post-secondary exploration and discover careers matched to their interests. Find more details online. Students can log in through hcpss.me, then click Naviance.