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Planning Update for the 2020-2021 School Year

July 6th, 2020

HCPSS staff and stakeholders continue to work toward a comprehensive and flexible solution for the fall that considers the health and safety recommendations from county, state and federal health partners, input provided by stakeholders, and requirements and guidance provided by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the Howard County Health Department (HCHD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many factors must be included in these plans, including teaching and learning processes for all students, including those with special needs; supports for students and staff, including well-being needs, and transportation and other operational considerations. The main priorities for all planning considerations are equity, safety, operations and instruction.

There is still considerable work to be done and informed decisions to be made before anything is finalized. This Thursday, July 9, 2020, HCPSS staff will present a draft plan to the Board of Education for review during the Board’s regularly scheduled public meeting. Several recommendations will be made and the Board may make preliminary decisions on the plan to be submitted to MSDE. No decision or plan will be final until MSDE has reviewed and approved the plan. The MSDE deadline for plan submission is August 14, but HCPSS intends to submit plans much earlier so that families and staff will have time to prepare for the upcoming school year.

Information will continue to be posted online to keep the community informed including updates related to ongoing fall planning and the survey results. Additionally, stakeholders are encouraged to continue providing input by emailing