Instructional Supports During Quarantine and Health/Safety Updates, Sept. 24, 2021
September 24th, 2021
Please see below for updates on health and safety and related issues.
Update on Instructional Supports During Quarantine
Beginning the week of September 27, the HCPSS Evening School program will offer virtual grade-level academic support sessions for eligible elementary and middle school students who must quarantine or who are struggling academically. These sessions will be available on Google Meet each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6-8 p.m., and consist of parallel small group sessions in elementary English and math; and middle school English, math, science and social studies. Parents are encouraged to attend with their child.
Schools will contact the families of students designated as eligible to participate. Parents also may request that their child participate by contacting the school principal.
These sessions build on the existing cadre of supports for quarantining students, which include grade-level materials packets for elementary students, assignments and instructional materials posted on teachers’ Canvas pages for all levels, and the availability of weekly virtual check-in sessions. Comprehensive information about the instructional supports available are provided on the HCPSS Students in Quarantine website.
As a reminder, parents/guardians will be notified by the school when their child must quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 or identified as a close contact at school. It is important to note that close contact or quarantine does not indicate that those students or staff have tested positive.
Only unvaccinated students and adults who are identified as close contacts must quarantine. Vaccinated students and staff are not required to quarantine unless they receive a positive test or are displaying symptoms, but will need to monitor their symptoms closely for the 14 days. Criteria for identifying close contacts and quarantine requirements are established by the Maryland Department of Health and apply to all school systems.
Update on HEPA Filter and Cafeteria Tent Installation
HCPSS is acquiring and installing HEPA filtration units in all classrooms, and outdoor tents at all elementary schools, to provide a further layer of protection to the multiple mitigation efforts already in place.
- Approximately 2,460 of the total 4,600 HEPA filter units ordered have been received, which are being installed as quickly as possible in order of school capacity utilization, beginning at the most densely populated elementary school, and finishing with the least crowded high school. Vendor delivery of all remaining units is expected by October 1.
- Vendor delivery of all tents is complete as of today, and staff are working as quickly as possible to install them at all elementary schools, starting with the most densely populated schools. As of yesterday, 22 tents have been installed.
Reminder: Proof of Vaccination/Testing Requirements for Visitors and Staff
The COVID staff testing program is scheduled to launch the week of October 4. Visitors and volunteers will not be asked to show proof of vaccination or testing until the staff testing program is in effect. At that time, proof of vaccination status or a negative weekly COVID test will be required for all parents/guardians and other visitors who enter HCPSS schools to interact with or support students, visit classrooms or conduct observations. Volunteers must also comply with this requirement, which goes into effect simultaneously with the launch of the COVID staff testing program. Parents/visitors who are entering the school briefly, to pick up or drop off their child or for other reasons, will not be required to show proof of vaccination or testing.