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HCPSS School Closure Update: April 6, 2020

April 6th, 2020

The following update was sent to the HCPSS community by Superintendent Michael Martirano on April 6, 2020:

This week teachers are preparing for the transition to the next phase of our Continuity of Learning process, which begins April 14 for high school students, and the following week for middle and elementary students. Communication has been a top priority throughout this closure period, and up to this point I have emailed all families and staff each day to share new announcements and ensure that learning continues while schools are closed. As we shift to online teacher-led learning, you will receive frequent messages directly from teachers and principals to provide information specific to your student and school. I realize that at times you may feel overwhelmed with messaging, so rather than daily updates, I will start each week with an update on our progress and any new announcements, and we will end the week with a summary of system-level information.

Of course, I will continue to immediately share with you any major announcements affecting students and families throughout our system.

Our HCPSS COVID–19 website provides the latest information and resources for Continuity of Learning, answers to many frequently asked questions, and much more. This one-stop resource is updated regularly so please check back often.

Please know that our students and staff are always uppermost in my thoughts and prayers. While I plan to check in frequently on the online meetings that take place among teachers, students and colleagues, I miss seeing students and staff members in person, and I look forward to the day when we can all return to our schools and offices. Until that day, I wish you and your family peace and good health.

The following update provides additional information for families and staff.

HCPSS Connect Outage

The Information Technology Department will perform a routine update to a technology system, Friday, April 11 from 10–11 p.m. During this time, access to Synergy will be unavailable for staff and students, who still will be able to access Canvas. HCPSS Connect will be unavailable for parents/guardians, including Synergy and Canvas. If you experience any system issues after this change, please contact Technology Support.

Student Registration for the 2020–2021 School Year

Parents/guardians of new incoming students and those entering kindergarten in the 2020–2021 school year (who are not already enrolled) can begin the enrollment process online, then complete the final steps of the enrollment process once schools reopen. Online registration is not required and parents may elect to complete the full registration in person at the time of reopening. Guidelines for Kindergarten registration, Kindergarten and 1st Grade early admission, and Pre-K applications are provided online.

School Supplies

Limited quantities of pens, pencils and notebooks will be available at the Hammond, Long Reach and Oakland Mills high school Technology Distribution sites, which students/families may pick up if supplies are needed for continuity of learning at home. Prepare for Success has donated its inventory of school supplies, which will soon be available at meal distribution sites. Please stay tuned as we gather this inventory this week and prepare for a wider distribution beginning next week.

Distance Learning Course Schedules

Each teacher will inform students and families of the schedule for their courses. For high school students, April 14–17 will be an orientation week. Students will receive a message via Canvas from each of their teachers with specific details about the orientations, including Google Meet login information and meeting date/time. By 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14, teachers will post learning activities and assignments in Canvas. During the orientation week, students will be able to work independently to complete the learning activities and assignments, which should require no more than one hour to complete per class. Students will submit work through Canvas by 10 a.m. on Friday, April 17. General scheduling information for elementary, middle, and high school levels is provided on the HCPSS website.