Education, Health, Sci-Tech

BCPS expands guidance for virtual reopening

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Public Schools has updated its Reopening Plan (below) for the 2020-21 school year, with virtual learning planned from Tuesday, September 8, 2020, through the end of the first semester on January 29, 2021.

The version of the plan released today includes additional information about attendance, special education, assessments, schedules, and athletics, among other topics. Highlights are included below:

Attendance: Teachers will take daily attendance based on student log-in to the Schoology learning management system each Wednesday and Google Meet on other days of the week.

Special education: BCPS provides free appropriate public education to students with disabilities through supports and services that address each student’s unique needs as identified in their Individualized Education Program (IEP), while protecting the health and safety of students and staff.

SAT and PSAT: Through the end of the first marking period on November 13, 2020, the following are cancelled: Saturday administrations of the SAT college entrance exam, the SAT Day initiative providing the SAT for free during the school day, and the PSAT.

Schedules: The plan provides sample teacher and student schedules for Preschool – Grade 12.

Athletics: Virtual sports conditioning and coaching will be allowed during the first semester. The Office of Athletics is considering how athletics may proceed during the second semester, with the possibility of shortened seasons for fall, winter, and spring athletics.

Preschool and Prekindergarten: Preschool and Prekindergarten materials will be mailed to students’ homes for each curricular unit. Teachers will contact students and families for direct instruction.

Use of facilities: Currently and while instruction is virtual, BCPS facilities are not open for use by outside organizations.

Face coverings: Face coverings and adherence to county and state health guidelines are required while on BCPS property for adults and children aged 2 and older.

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As announced in July, teachers will provide live, virtual instruction on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, in addition to independent student work and small group instruction. Wednesdays are reserved for targeted student intervention and independent student work. School schedules will provide opportunities for movement and screen and lunch breaks.

Chromebook distribution for students in Grades Kindergarten through 12 will continue until a 1:1 student-to-device ratio is achieved. BCPS will continue to provide mobile hot spots for students without home Internet connectivity, including students who are experiencing homelessness.

BCPS will survey families from December 1-18 regarding interest in continuing virtual learning or opting into hybrid (in-person and virtual) instruction, if safe to do so for February through June 2021.

The BCPS Reopening Plan was developed by BCPS and community leaders based on community surveys, advisory groups, and advice from health and education experts.

Officials say aspects of this plan may be adjusted as conditions warrant.

Click to access Reopening-Plan.pdf

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