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State-Mandated School Closures Extended Through End of School Year

May 6th, 2020

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

This afternoon, State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced that all Maryland public schools will remain closed through the remainder of the current school year. As I have shared before, we anticipated this extension and are prepared to continue to support our students and staff. Phase 3 of the HCPSS Continuity of Learning program, currently underway, was developed to support learning through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. HCPSS will continue to operate remotely during this time while all school and office buildings and outdoor areas remain closed.

Our ongoing food distribution at 14 local sites will continue for the duration of the closure. The last day for seniors will remain May 20. Now that we know schools will not reopen for the remainder of the school year, we will review the calendar and make decisions regarding the final day for all other students and that will be communicated to our community as soon as possible.

Since the initial closure announcement, HCPSS staff have been working on contingency plans. Now that the decision has been announced regarding the remainder of this school year, there are several updates that we will be providing to you in the near future. These include updates related to the process to enable students and staff to retrieve any items left behind in schools and offices. In addition, as we receive further guidance from MSDE regarding summer school programs and other instructional items, those details will be provided to you. We will continue to review our COL instructional model, looking to learn from our teachers about opportunities for enhancement. Planning is underway for graduation and senior celebrations, and additional details will be shared with students, families and staff as soon as possible.

Our number one priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our children, staff and community. As always, I urge all HCPSS families and staff to stay at home and remain safe. This pandemic is far from over, and we must all do our part to slow the spread of this disease and flatten the curve.

Please be assured that we are already planning for the next, “recovery of learning” phase, and for the eventual reopening of schools. There are many unknowns and questions that have not yet been answered, including issues that will require MSDE guidance to resolve. I appreciate the patience of our community as we worked quickly, carefully and collaboratively to respond during this pandemic and launch distance learning, and I ask for your ongoing support and patience as we continue to adapt to these evolving circumstances.