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Return to Learn 2020-2021

Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) is excited to take the initial steps to welcome students back to classrooms. As of October 12, 2020, WCPS is in Stage 3 of our Return to Learn plan.

Students will return in five stages. Stages will move forward or in reverse based on community health metrics that the State of Maryland has provided for guidance.

These include: 

  • Washington County’s daily positivity rate - the number of positive COVID-19 test results divided by the total number of tests administered
  • Washington County’s new case rate - the number of new positive COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people

These metrics will be reviewed regularly by WCPS staff. The community can review this data on the Maryland Schools Recovery website. Simply scroll down the page and select Washington County from the list of options.

There are no dates set for the return of students in Stage 4, or Stage 5. Moving into these stages will depend on Washington County’s COVID-19 cases.

View the WCPS Students in School stages here. 

When your student can return

Each school will reach out to families if your child(ren) is able to come back to school. Please be sure to check your voicemail, email, and even text messages to see if your child’s school has contacted you.

School staff need to know if your child will definitely return so that appropriate plans can be made. They will also need to know if your child will require bus transportation to and from school.

DISTANCE LEARNING THROUGH SCHOOL RE-OPENING

If parents/guardians prefer their student learns online, they can continue to do so until Stage 5. Stage 5 is when all students return to schools.


Student health and safety protocols

Returning students to classrooms in a safe way will require the collective efforts of students, families, and our WCPS staff. It is important that everyone in our learning community uphold and follow the established health and safety protocols, which are based off of local and national guidance. 

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Screening at home daily for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Wearing face coverings throughout the day in all school facilities and buses.
  • Washing and sanitizing hands throughout the day.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout schools.
  • Maintaining physical distancing of six feet or more among others.

view the latest student health and safety protocols.


Tools for Communicating with Teachers

In order to protect private student information, WCPS teachers are not able to use apps like Remind, Class DoJo, Seesaw, and others. These apps do not meet federal or state safety requirements the way they are currently configured. As a result, their use is being discontinued in the school system.

Parents are encouraged to use ParentVUE and WCPS email to communicate directly with teachers regarding their children. Each student in pre-k through grade 12 is assigned a WCPS email address, which can be used for parents to email teachers.

Teachers can also invite parents and guardians as guests to their child’s Google Classroom. Parents can choose to receive daily or weekly assignment summaries to track their child’s progress. Please contact your child's teacher for more information.


School Help HotlinES

School staff members will be available from 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday to provide general assistance with school-related assignments, applications, and websites. 

Elementary: 301-842-8976   |   Middle: 301-842-8677   |   High: 301-857-1059

a graphic with help hotline numbers
 

technology HELP HOTLINE

Technology team members will be available from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday to provide assistance with your child's WCPS-issued device.
Technology Help Hotline: 301-766-8990
 

a graphic with help hotline numbers


athletics

Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) is now in Stage 3 of the Return to Learn Plan. With the beginning of Stage 3, WCPS is also kicking off our interscholastic fall athletics season. WCPS fall student athletes will participate in an in-county competitive schedule. This is a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Washington County from other communities.

Fall sport schedules will be posted at: http://www.washingtoncountycmc.org. These schedules will be posted to the website by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 15.

Unfortunately spectator capacity will be limited at high school athletic events according to the Maryland Department of Health’s guidance for sporting events. At this time, WCPS understands capacity numbers include athletes, coaches and team personnel, officials, and fans.

Indoor games are limited to no more than 50% capacity or 100 people (whichever is less).
Outdoor games are limited to no more than 50% capacity or 250 people (whichever is less).

Read more information in our latest Return to Play update below.

Read the latest update on the Return to Play


meal services

It has been a priority of WCPS to continue to provide access to school meals through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Food Services staff is operating meal sites at 22 different locations across Washington County this school year. 

Meal sites are open Monday-Friday from 11AM-1PM and a full list can be found on the flyer linked below. 

If you have a positive balance on your Meal Services Account, use this form located on the Food and Nutrition Services page to transfer your balance. 

 

A graphic displaying WCPS meal sites for 2020-2021

Download this Meal Site flyer


return to learn plan: reopen and accelerate learning

As required by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), WCPS released the Return to Learn Plan: Reopen and Accelerate Learning and posted the document to the website by August 14, 2020 (updated 10/23/2020). This document outlines the priorities, strategies, and operations of WCPS for continuous learning through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note the table of contents topics are linked to their respective sections of the plan. 


DISTANCE LEARNING STUDENT SCHEDULES

Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) has developed student day schedules during distance learning. 

Please note these schedules may vary slightly from school-to-school to meet the needs at each school.

ELEMENTARY DISTANCE LEARNING SCHEDULES

The student learning day will run from 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Teacher/Parent Communication Time
Teachers will be available to communicate with parents to address questions and concerns during this time each school day. Parents may expect to receive responses to their questions during this time.

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch
Students will have a longer lunch period to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county.

Pre-kindergarten
Students will engage in approximately two (2) hours of real-time, online instruction with their teachers throughout the day with time for breaks. Teachers will divide this time as appropriate with periods of small-group work.

Kindergarten - Grade 5
Students will engage in approximately three (3) hours of real-time, online instruction with their teachers throughout the day with time for breaks. Teachers will divide this time as appropriate with periods of small-group work.

MIDDLE SCHOOL DISTANCE LEARNING SCHEDULES

Students have six classes every day. All six classes are live online and 35 minutes long. The school day will run from 9:00 a.m. - 2:10 p.m.

For most students, one of the six classes is an academic skills class during which students will be provided with additional support and/or enrichment.

Students have one hour for lunch to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county.

HIGH SCHOOL DISTANCE LEARNING SCHEDULES

Comprehensive High Schools
Students have 6 classes every day. All 6 classes are live online and 35 minutes long. The school day will run from approximately 9:00 a.m. - 2:10 p.m.

Students have one hour for lunch to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county.

Washington County Technical High School
Students have two academic classes on A-days and two academic classes on B-days. They have two Career Technology Education (CTE) classes every day. All four classes are live online and 70 minutes long. The school day will run from 9:00 a.m. - 2:25 p.m.

Students have one hour for lunch to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county.

Barbara Ingram School for the Arts
Students have eight classes every day. The classes are all 35 minutes long. The academic classes are live online every day, and the arts classes are a mix of live online classes and hands-on activities/assignments depending on which program a student is in. The school day will run from 9:00 a.m. - 3:10 p.m. The last class each day is ensemble; students may not have ensemble every day.

Students have one hour for lunch to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county.