The Board of Education of Charles County in a unanimous vote at its Feb. 22 work session approved an April 19 Phase 4 start date for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students. The Board voted on a recommendation from Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Hill for CCPS to move forward with its reopening plan.
In her recommendation to the Board, Hill shared her goal to return as many students to in-person learning as possible.
“Based on the number of parents who chose in-person learning for their children, I recommend we bring back all students who would like to attend school in person on April 19. The move from Phase 2 directly to Phase 4 would bring back a total of about 7,924 students to 39 buildings. The move would also provide optimal time for students to be in the building before the end of the school year. April 19 also allows teachers and students in Phase 2 one week after spring break to settle back to in-person learning before adding students,” Hill said.
The Board approved Hill’s recommendation with an amendment to include notification to CCPS staff, students and parents about the laws and guidelines about out-of-state travel.
Earlier this month, the Board approved a March 22 start date for Phase 2. Phase 2 includes eligible students whose parents opted to send their child to school for in-person learning. CCPS in a return-to-school survey provided parents with the option to keep their children on virtual learning for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year, or send their child back to school for in-person learning.
Phase 2 students will attend in-person classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday remains an asynchronous day for the rest of the school year. Any student whose parent completed the survey and opted to keep their child in virtual learning will remain on virtual learning for the rest of the school year.
Phase 4 details – begins April 19, 2021
Phase 4 includes students in prekindergarten through Grade 12 and a rotating schedule of two days of in-person instruction each week. Any student eligible for Phase 3 now falls under the Phase 4 schedule if they are returning to school. This applies only to students who were opted in by a parent/guardian to return to in-person learning.
- A-K last names: students with last names starting with letters A to K will attend school in-person Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday is an asynchronous day for all students. This group of students will participate in virtual learning on Thursday and Friday.
- L-Z last names: students with last names starting with the letters L to Z will attend school in-person Thursday and Friday. Wednesday is an asynchronous day for all students. This group of students will participate in virtual learning on Monday and Tuesday.
According to results from the return to school parent survey, about 3,000 students will return to school in person under Phase 2 on March 22. Phase 2 includes special populations of students identified in the first group to return to school. Phases 2 through 4 includes about 8,000 students whose parents opted for their children to return to school for in-person learning.
Any CCPS student who did not have a parent response on file to the return to school survey has been marked as remaining with virtual learning for the rest of the school year. Parents who opted their child in to return to school but have changed their mind should contact their child’s school to request their child stay with virtual learning for the remainder of the school year.
Parents who opted for their child to remain virtual but now want their child to return to school in-person should call their child’s school. These students will be placed on a waiting list and parents will be notified if space becomes available for their child.
Important return to school information for parents of Phase 2-4 students
- School hours remain the same. Hours are listed on Pages 32 and 33 in the CCPS Parent Handbook/Calendar.
- Students and staff must wear masks at school except while eating meals.
- Parents should complete the health screening each morning. The guidelines are posted on the CCPS website here.
- Any student who shows two or more COVID-19 symptoms will be sent to the school nurse for evaluation. Parents may be offered a COVID-19 test for their child (to be completed in the school parking lot).
- Parents will have 60 minutes to pick up a sick child from school. The school nurse or a staff member will release a sick child to a parent/guardian outside of the school building.
- Food and Nutrition Services staff will serve lunch and breakfast each day. The meals are free for all children. Meal bags will also include dinner and a snack.
- Students can bring a bagged lunch from home.
- AlphaBest is offering childcare at most elementary schools. AlphaBest will reopen registration for new Phase 2 families next week. Sites with low enrollment may not open.
- AlphaBest registration for Phase 4 families may be offered at a later date.
- Students should bring their technology, including a laptop, to school each day. Parents should review the technology bring your own device rules if their child is bringing a personal device to school. The rules are posted online here.
- Transportation information for families who requested bus service will be available in ParentVue soon.
The CCPS reopening plan is posted on the CCPS website at ccboe.com.
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event. CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).