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HCPSS 2022-2023 Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan

October 21st, 2022

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The information below was shared with students, families and staff as part of a letter from HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano on Oct. 21, 2022:

The Maryland State Department of Education recently opened a pathway for local school systems to use up to three inclement weather days as asynchronous school days for the 2022–2023 school year. The HCPSS plan was created following State requirements and Howard County Board of Education policies, and was approved by MSDE earlier this month.

I know many of you, and your children, prefer traditional snow days. I am confident this plan will allow for that while also preserving the HCPSS academic calendar, including spring break.

What is the plan?

For the 2022-2023 school year, HCPSS will repurpose up to three inclement weather days as asynchronous instruction days. Unlike the virtual instruction utilized during the height of the COVID-19 epidemic, students will not have live online instruction and instead will complete assignments on their own.

Asynchronous instruction day materials for elementary school students will be posted on the HCPSS website and updated each month. Schools will provide printed copies for students as needed. Middle and high school students have been provided an HCPSS-issued device and will access assignments via Canvas. All students will have up to 10 days to complete work.

Parents/guardians will hear from their child’s school and/or teacher(s) in the coming weeks with more detailed information on accessing and submitting tasks.

When will inclement weather asynchronous instruction days be used?

Effective Friday, Nov. 4, it is my intention to utilize this option as the first three inclement weather days, barring extreme circumstances, such as a countywide internet outage, major blizzard, etc. Once all three inclement weather asynchronous instruction days have been used, we will notify staff, students and families, and all remaining weather-related incidents will be used as traditional inclement weather days.

What are the asynchronous day status codes and how will they be used?

Similar to current HCPSS operating status codes, one of two new codes will be used:

For students and families, the two codes have the same meaning: Elementary school students access asynchronous tasks distributed by teachers or via the HCPSS website. Students in grades 6-12 may access asynchronous assignments via Canvas two hours after the regular school start time.

The difference between Code Purple and Code Pink relates to HCPSS staff reporting. For students, the experience of an asynchronous day doesn’t change with the code designation.

How will families be notified about inclement weather asynchronous instruction days?

Students, families, staff and community members will be notified if/when I authorize an asynchronous instruction day the same as all other inclement weather notifications:

Parents/guardians are automatically signed up for email alerts, however must one time opt in for text messaging. If you have not opted in or are unsure if you have opted in to receiving HCPSS text message, please text the word YES to the number 67587 from the mobile number you entered in Family File.

For the full approved plan and additional information, please visit the HCPSS Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan webpage.