From the HCPSS:
On March 1, HCPSS will begin its transition to a hybrid instructional model. The Bridge to Normalized Instruction summarizes the main facets of the planned transition to a hybrid instructional model that includes in-person, virtual and concurrent instruction and begins on March 1, 2021, as the first stage to the gradual return to normalized instruction. MORE
Answers to frequently asked questions can be found online and are continually updated. Visit the HCPSS Help site for more information. Schools will communicate additional details for students returning in-person, as appropriate. Please contact your child’s school with any questions.
Student Schedule Changes
All student schedules will change effective Monday, March 1, regardless of whether the student is returning in-person or remaining virtual. Please note:
New Student Meal Procedures
Effective March 1, meals for seven days per week will continue to be provided at no cost to families students; however, the days and times meals will be provided will change. Meals will be available in most schools, including those that have been closed for construction and those closed due to inadequate staffing.
Students returning to school buildings will have the option of receiving school meals any day they are at school. In addition, meals will be available for pickup from 7:45-8:45 a.m. at elementary school locations and 9-10 a.m. at middle and high school locations on the following weekdays:
There will be no pickups on Tuesdays and Fridays. Pick-up times/locations are subject to change based on individual school needs and/or staffing.
Full details on student meals for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year are available online.
All children must have the required State of Maryland immunizations in order to attend school. The Maryland Department of Health has not lifted the requirement for immunizations, which are still required for entry into school and are vital for children’s overall health and wellness. At this time, the state has not given any exemption to families in districts utilizing virtual instruction. Details can be found online.
HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. Regardless of virtual or in-person learning, parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child. Parents/guardians can complete or update Family File by logging in to HCPSS Connect, selecting the More Options tab on the left and then Family File in the center column. Family File guides are available online.
Email & Text Alerts
HCPSS News emails and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and deliver real-time notices of emergency closings and information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File. Parents/guardians of previously enrolled HCPSS students do not need to sign up for, or manage an HCPSS News account. Parents/guardians who are new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification, and must opt in to text alerts.
In times of emergency situations, information will be shared with the community through our website, social media, text, email and weather hotline. All parents automatically receive email messaging and new parents need to opt in to text messaging (see above). Unsubscribing from any school or district email or text will unsubscribe a user from all messaging, including emergency notifications.
Every school building will undergo a walk-through inspection, based on an extensive School Readiness Checklist, to ensure that all preparations are complete before students begin to return on Monday, March 1. A new HCPSS resource, facilities-checklist.hcpss.org, enables community and staff members to view the results of each school’s readiness inspection. The site is updated with the results of each School Readiness Checklist as it is completed for each school building. Learn more online.
Daily Health Checks
To ensure students are healthy enough to attend in-person instruction, parents/guardians are to perform a symptom check every day before the student leaves home. Details can be found online.
Protective Face Masks
Students are required to wear a mask at all times on the bus and at school, except while eating. Reusable, 3-ply cotton face masks and face shields will be provided for students (face shields are not required). Families also may choose to provide a mask for their child(ren). It should be noted that some students are unable to wear masks for any of several acceptable reasons, which are addressed on an individual basis.
All students may receive breakfast and/or lunch at no cost to families for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Students also may opt to bring their own lunch to school on the days they are in person. Full details on student meals are noted above and available online.
Bringing Chromebooks to School
Students attending school in person should bring their fully charged HCPSS assigned Chromebook and power adapter to school on their assigned days. Families should review the Chromebook Care webpage for information on how to best care for the device. All elementary and middle schools, and many high schools will have distributed Chromebooks prior to students return to school. Schools will communicate directions to families who do not have devices to bring to school.
[NOTE: OMHS will be distributing Chromebooks Wednesday, February 24 through Friday, February 26.]
Ensuring Students Can Log In
For students returning to in-person instruction, especially those in primary grades, we ask that you work with your child to learn their login and password. This will ensure a smooth transition from virtual to hybrid. Have your child prepare for logging in with this practice sheet. For privacy purposes, please do not attach login credentials to a student device. We suggest filling out this Student Tip Sheet, which students may bring to school.
In addition to Chromebooks, students should come to school fully prepared with any necessary school supplies (e.g. pencils, notebooks, etc.). Students may check with their teachers for any required supplies on a particular day, especially for related arts.
HCPSS also recommends students bring to school a water bottle, a book or activity for non-instructional time, and outdoor wear when appropriate.
Students will not have access to lockers, either in hallways or locker rooms. Please plan ahead when packing student backpacks.