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Updates on Spring Semester Planning, Athletics and Grading, October 23, 2020

October 23rd, 2020

Spring Semester Planning

Operational preparations are underway to ensure the school system will be well-prepared for a potential transition to a hybrid instructional model for the spring semester. The Board on October 22 took action on the metrics that would allow students and staff to safely return to school buildings and criteria that would be used to signal the need to revert to a virtual model. Superintendent Martirano’s preliminary remarks and the full presentation are available online.

Stakeholder input will help inform the Board’s decisions regarding the spring semester. A new email option is available for parents/guardians, students, staff and other stakeholders who wish to provide input and feedback to the Board regarding the spring semester instructional model. Please email feedback to spring-input@hcpss.org. The Board will review all emails; however, due to the anticipated volume, individual responses should not be expected.

Staff will present a hybrid model for the Board’s consideration on November 5, and the Board is scheduled to take action on the second semester instructional model on November 19.

High School Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Next week, the State Board of Education is expected to consider a proposal submitted by the Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland (PSSAM) to begin in-person athletics in Maryland on December 7. If approved, this plan will provide longer athletic seasons than the plan previously announced by the state, while allowing sufficient time to accommodate appropriate health and safety protocols, staffing levels, competition schedules and other preparations essential to a successful season. More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

Additionally, the Board made a temporary adjustment to Policy 9070 Academic Eligibility for High School Extracurricular Activities to remove eligibility requirements and allow all students to participate in the first season of sports or of extracurricular activities for the year. The temporary change eliminates Grade Point Average to determine initial participation and terminates at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Changes to Grading and Reporting Policy

The Board voted to temporarily modify sections of Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School to remove final assessments. This change also introduces new grade calculations, clarifying that for .50 courses, the quarter grade will be the final grade. The temporary change to Policy 8020 will terminate at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

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