Message from the Superintendent (6/24/20)
We have been working on potential plans for the beginning of the school year for several weeks. While it has been a topic at the forefront of our discussions for some time, it will now be our primary work to determine how we will begin school in September.
On Wednesday evening, June 24, the Board of Education met to receive updates and discuss the details and considerations for reopening. Please note that a link to the video of the Board meeting as well as links to important documents are provided at the end of this communication. We encourage you to watch the video for more detailed information.
During the meeting, a PowerPoint presentation was provided to the Board explaining the planning already underway. The presentation also highlighted some of the complexities of that planning regarding the potential restrictions, considerations, and requirements we must adhere to as related to COVID-19. The PowerPoint includes topics such as:
- Planning Process
- Survey Results – Parent, Student, Employee
- CCPS Planning Guidance
- Complexities to Planning Process
- Necessary Resources to Support Virtual and In-School Learning
- Implementation – Variable Unknowns
- Review of MSDE Scheduling Options.
As mentioned above, one of the topics at the Board meeting was the parent, student, and employee surveys. A link to the results is included below. Thank you to everyone who participated. We will be conducting a more specific survey in the coming weeks. Your feedback will be very valuable as we move forward.
In addition to the surveys, we have asked for feedback from our stakeholder groups and received many e-mails from parents, students, employees, and community members. We appreciate everyone who took the time to contact us, sharing what has and has not worked and the challenges you have faced with virtual learning.
There will be continuous conversation about this topic as it is changing and evolving. We will continue to communicate with you throughout the summer. This week’s Board meeting was the first of many that will be held in the next two months. Our next special Board of Education update meeting will be on Wednesday, July 15, when we will share a draft plan with our Board for additional feedback. More information will be forthcoming as we get closer to that date. We have provided the schedule below.
This is one of the biggest challenges we will face as a school system and as a community. Please keep in mind that there will still be certain state and Maryland State Department of Education restrictions we will be required to follow. It is important that we continue to work together to find the best possible solutions for our students. As always, we want to hear your thoughts, comments, and suggestions.
Board Meeting Video
CCPS Reopening Plan Update PowerPoint
Planning Process Timeline/Upcoming Meetings
Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery
Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education
CDC Considerations for Schools
Message from the Superintendent (6/15/20)
Now that the 2019-2020 school year has come to an end, our focus for the summer months will be to plan for the reopening of schools in the fall. As our planning takes place, it is imperative that we all recognize the impact the COVID-19 pandemic crisis will continue to have on the requirements and considerations for how we operate our schools.
It is hard to predict at this point in time where we might find ourselves in September. However, we can assure you that as we plan for the reopening of our schools, CCPS is committed to the following requirements:
- Placing the safety, health, and well-being of our students, employees, and families in all our decision-making processes.
- Assuring that equity is at the forefront of all decision-making.
- Providing the highest quality instruction possible given the conditions and constraints that may exist.
- Using our resources as strategically as possible as we adapt to ever-changing conditions and requirements.
- Involving and engaging all stakeholders when appropriate in the planning process.
- Communicating as frequently as needed to ensure that parents, students, employees, and community members remain informed.
- Returning to full operational status as quickly as possible as safe health conditions allow.
CCPS has formed three work groups to guide our process. Throughout the summer months, we will share with you the work and progress made by these groups.
- Operational Logistics and Safety
- Academics, Equity, and Accountability
- Schools and Student Support.
In our planning, CCPS will adhere to directives and guidance from various federal, state, and local authorities. Guidance that will be relied on for planning includes:
Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, including all executive order and interpretative guidance
Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education, including the specific State requirements for opening schools
CDC Considerations for Schools
This month, you will be receiving a survey that will provide an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on the reopening of school. In addition, we would encourage you to watch the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, June 24, at 5:00 p.m. when school system staff and the Board will discuss reopening considerations and implications.
Throughout the summer months, we will provide opportunities for feedback regarding reopening plans. We will post any draft plans and additional resources on the CCPS website. Please continue to check frequently for the latest updates. As we have experienced over the past few months, conditions can change quickly and we must be prepared to adapt and modify as necessary to ensure the health and safety of our school community and our community at large.
As always, our success as a school system depends on the collaboration and support of parents, students, employees and community members. I want to thank you in advance for assisting in our planning efforts by staying informed and sharing your feedback.
CCPS Summer Recovery (6/5/20)
CCPS Summer Recovery will take place virtually for invited students July 6 through July 31, Monday through Thursday mornings, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. There will be no sessions on Fridays. Although we encourage all invited students to attend, summer recovery is a voluntary experience.
The purpose of the CCPS Summer Recovery is to provide identified students additional academic support, primarily focused on standards from the recently completed Quarter 4 of the 2019-2020 academic year. Sessions will focus on reviewing content and solidifying conceptual understanding to ensure student success entering the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Virtual sessions will be made up of small groups of students so that the most ideal virtual learning environment can take place. Teachers and students will meet on a regular basis through daily online video conferencing when delivering lessons and providing ongoing live support. For those families who lack connectivity, teachers will work through other modes of communication to ensure students have access to materials and students and families receive feedback.
School administrators will be reaching out to parents of invited students. Please contact the school principal if you have any questions.
CCPS Virtual Summer Opportunities (6/3/20)
National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) Camp Invention Connect – CCPS has partnered with NIHF to offer CI Connect, a one-week camp, the weeks of June 29-July 3, July 7-10, July 13-17, July 20-24, and August 3-8. Participating students will investigate topics such as flight, sports complex design, entrepreneurship, and ecosystem rescue through design. The camp has a STEM focus that leads students to problem solving, creation through application, collaboration, and invention. For additional information, contact Bryan Shumaker, firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCPS & CCPL Summer Reading Challenge 2020 – K-5 CCPS students can participate in the Carroll County Public Library Summer Reading Challenge as OUR SCHOOL’s Summer Reading Challenge through a collaborative effort between CCPS and CCPL! IMAGINE YOUR STORY this summer at CCPL virtually. If you complete the public library Summer Reading program and earn 300 points, you will be eligible for rewards from CCPL. (See CCPL Game Board Log for more details) Game boards are in the week 8 packets that every student received and in report card envelopes as well as https://library.carr.org/programs/docs/SD-GB.pdf. Registration begins June 1 and the program runs June 15-August 31. A tutorial for families can be found at: https://carrorg-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/aknight_carr_org/EukyWRSXp39GiESIKfObmBkBkE5-6V9C0FjwpQ5slchitQ?e=CAuDiZ
Virtual Camp Thrive – This camp will be an art camp for positive power to enrich the lives of students in grades 6-9 who have been, or are currently, impacted by addiction or addiction-related loss or trauma in their homes or with their loved ones. This will take place through a transdisciplinary synthesis of active art making, creative process, applied skills, joy, and human experience while building relationships. The camp will be a five-week program that will include certified Visual Arts Educators facilitating engaging art activities to support emotional health, community, and self-expression. Kits of relevant art supplies will be provided so that students can fully engage in the process of creating, planning, and finding their artistic voice together. Within their online classroom environment, there will be an art teacher and a school counselor to support both academic needs and social emotional needs. This experience will provide a supportive environment where students can build skills in coping and stress management, and also recognize their own strengths while sharing with others who have experienced similar challenges.
Judy Center Early Learning Hubs – Judy Center Programming is developed with funds from the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Early Childhood. Judy Center will be offering virtual learning and services throughout the summer. This continuous Summer Programming supports parents and children ages birth through five who reside in the Robert Moton, Cranberry Station, Elmer Wolfe, and Taneytown Elementary school districts. Virtual summer programming will include playgroups, home visits, field trips, and online parent workshops. If you live in one of the Judy Center school districts and would like more information regarding these support services, please contact the Community Specialist in your district:
Updates on the End of the School Year (5/22/20)
As we work together and continue to adapt to the challenges and changes presented by COVID-19, we know that parents and students may have many questions and concerns as we prepare for the end of the school year. We hope the information provided below will answer many of your questions as we move into the summer months and look ahead to the next school year.
We are honored to be able to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating seniors with individual ceremonies during the first two weeks of June. Each student will be able to select a time to go to their high school, with up to four guests, and walk the stage and receive their diploma. Each student will be videotaped walking the stage. Later in June, a compilation graduation video will be released online for each high school. Health and safety protocols will be followed during each student’s graduation, including appropriate social distancing. Each high school will be communicating all of the logistics with their families.
Closing the 2019-2020 School Year
Over the past many weeks, we have been developing procedures to close out this school year. Generally, these procedures focus on the process we will follow for students and families to return CCPS property to us and pick up any personal items remaining at school. Your individual school will be contacting you regarding the process and the schedule. Please keep in mind that we will try to make this process as efficient as possible while at the same time following all community health protocols.
CCPS Summer Recovery will take place July 6 through July 31. Recovery sessions will take place in the morning from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday, with no session taking place on Friday. If the state of Maryland reaches Phase II of the Governor’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery, sessions will take place onsite at a county school building, provided we are able to meet all required community health guidelines and conditions. In the event that the state of Maryland does not enter Phase II of the recovery plan, CCPS will make a decision in early June to transition and hold summer recovery virtually from July 6 through July 31. If we find ourselves in a virtual environment for summer recovery, individual teachers will reach out to invited students to provide details and invitations to online platforms where instruction will take place.
Plans for Next School Year
We have begun reviewing all the necessary considerations for safely reopening school for the next school year. During the coming weeks and months, CCPS will be focused on developing and implementing a reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year, with consideration of the Governor's Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery and the Maryland State Department of Education’s Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education. As our planning moves forward, additional information will be shared during the June and July Board of Education meetings, as well as with our community.
CCPS continues to develop instructional programming to meet the needs of students, whether we find ourselves returning to a traditional, blended, or a total virtual environment. Depending on when our students can return to buildings, and the frequency of time our students will be in schools, instruction could be delivered face-to-face in a traditional classroom as well as online. In order to be prepared for the possibility of multiple scenarios this fall, summer professional learning opportunities will be offered to staff to continue to build their knowledge and skills around delivering live video instruction virtually, effectively engaging and motivating students in a distance learning environment, and developing effective ways to support families at home.
Last Day of 2019 – 2020 School Year for Students
As of now, the last day of school is scheduled for Thursday, June 11, pending approval from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). While we are still waiting to hear from MSDE on their official approval of the waiver, we are optimistic that it will be approved. As soon as we are notified, we will be sharing that information with you.
Again, we would like to thank you for your patience and support as we bring a close to a very challenging school year. Best wishes to everyone for a safe, healthy, and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. Please take time to remember and pay tribute to those who served and sacrificed for us.
High School Graduations (5/11/20)
As a result of the announcement last week from the State Superintendent that all Maryland schools will be closed through the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19, we wanted to officially inform you that we will not be holding the high school graduation ceremonies originally scheduled from June 1 - 6 at McDaniel College. We all share a tremendous amount of disappointment in this reality.
In consultation with the Health Department and in accordance with the current directives from our Governor, modified graduation plans for each school continue to be developed. We hope to share these plans within the next two weeks and have appreciated all the input and feedback we have received. This time will allow us to discuss, share, and carry out our plans to provide the best graduation we can, in the safest and most meaningful way permissible, considering our current context. Once finalized, principals will share specifics with their own school communities.
CCPS Continuity of Learning Family Survey (5/11/20)
On Wednesday, May 6th, State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced that schools will be closed through the end of the school year due to COVID-19. Over the past eight weeks away from our buildings, CCPS staff have worked tirelessly to provide
a continuity of learning for the 25,000+ students and their families. The initial goal was to provide content and resources for students and families while building the capacity of teachers to support students in a distance learning environment.
Tens of thousands of instructional packets and workbooks, aligned to county curriculum and state standards, have been provided to students and teachers. To support these traditional paper and pencil resources, an additional 25,000+ Google Classrooms were integrated to serve as an online platform so that staff could provide content, generate assignments, assist in virtual instruction and provide a venue for student and family engagement. We are very proud of the staff’s efforts, but we know this has been far from perfect.
In an interest to gather feedback from families on this experience, CCPS has worked in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education’s Research and Accountability Office to develop a survey to capture feedback from the students and families we serve. The goal of this survey is to gain insight on how well we implemented our continuity of learning plan, what has gone well, and most importantly, begin to identify areas where we can become better.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey below. We plan to close the survey on Friday, May 15th, at the end of the day. At that time, CCPS will begin to conduct a formal analysis of the feedback and begin to consider future modifications.
CCPS Continuity of Learning Family Survey
Schools to Remain Closed through the End of the School Year (5/6/20)
As you may be aware, this afternoon the Governor and the State Superintendent announced that schools in Maryland will remain closed through the end of the school year. This decision leaves all of us with many questions and concerns.
We understand that this is not an ideal situation for our students, parents, families, and staff. Like you, we are saddened by the fact that our students - especially our seniors - will miss many opportunities such as the spring sports season, music and drama programs, proms, and traditional graduation ceremonies. Please be assured that we will be communicating with you in the days and weeks ahead regarding your questions and concerns and the implications of this decision for our school system.
In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to check the Coronavirus (COVID-19) section of our website at www.carrollk12.org. Here you will find answers to many of your questions, as well as our Continuity of Learning Plan. We are aware of Dr. Salmon’s plan for reopening schools next year. We are examining that plan and determining its implications for Carroll County. More information will be provided as we move forward.
As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we would like to thank not only our teachers and employees, but all of the parents and family members who have been co-teaching over the past several weeks. Your willingness to partner with us has made it possible to provide meaningful instruction and educational opportunities for our students during this challenging time.
We are tremendously grateful for the ongoing work of CCPS teachers, staff, students, and parents in making the best of a very difficult situation. We hope you and your family members remain healthy and safe.
Credits, Assessments and Service Learning Hours for Graduation - 2019-2020 CCPS Seniors (4/29/20)
As a result of schools closing in March, a number of waivers to the traditional Maryland state requirements for graduation have been granted by the Maryland State Board of Education and have implications to a small number of this year’s CCPS graduating seniors.
Please review the updated waivers and revised graduation requirements for seniors graduating this spring, 2020.
Credits for Graduation - Seniors 2020
Carroll County Public Schools traditionally requires all students graduating from high school to complete 25 credits, 4 credits above the state required 21. The large majority of this year's seniors are on track to meet the existing CCPS graduation requirements. However, as a result of COVID-19, the Maryland State Department of Education waived the need of school systems to complete any additional credits beyond the state required 21 credits. Staff will bring a waiver to the board in May allowing any CCPS students graduating this spring (2020) only have to complete the 21 state mandated credits if they do not meet the CCPS credit requirement for graduation.
Maryland High School Assessments - Seniors 2020
CCPS seniors this year will not be required to have participated in or pass the Maryland High School Assessments for Algebra 1, English 10, American Government and the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA). In addition, CCPS seniors are waived from having to complete a Bridge project for Algebra 1, English 10 and/or American Government.
Maryland Student Service Graduation Requirement
CCPS seniors graduating in the spring of 2020 will not have to complete the state recommended Student Service Learning hours required for graduation. In addition to seniors graduating this spring, all other middle and high school students who are enrolled in a course which has Service Learning embedded in the course will receive credit for the Service Learning for that course. In addition, all students who earned hours of Service Learning prior to March 13, 2020, will be awarded credit for Service Learning for the 2019-2020 school year.
Maryland Career and Technical Education Requirements - Seniors 2020
CCPS seniors graduating in the spring of 2020 will work with CCPS staff to determine how the necessary required practicum/application hours and experiences will be met for certification and industry standards.
Individual teachers will be contacting students and providing updates and possible options beyond the school year to complete the instructional programming, as applicable.
If you have any additional questions pertaining to the information above, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher or school counselor.
Cancellation of Athletic Events (4/28/20)
Today the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) announced the cancellation of all MPSSAA events for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This has been a tumultuous time for our students, staff, fans, and families. We appreciate how difficult it has been for our students, especially our seniors, and thank them for all their efforts to promote the positive image of Carroll County Public Schools. CCPS will continue to work with the MPSSAA toward the return of interscholastic athletics within the framework of the Maryland Strong Road Map to Recovery.
Fourth Quarter and Final Grades (4/22/20)
Thank you for your patience, understanding and support during these unprecedented times surrounding COVID-19. We recognize the many challenges and barriers that not operating in our traditional mode of learning presents. During this time, we work to motivate students to stay engaged, strive to remain compassionate to the challenges our students and families are facing, and maintain our equity lens throughout our work.
While we have directed teachers to provide students with feedback on the work and learning opportunities being disseminated in the 4th quarter, we recognize the integrity and intent of traditional student grading is very difficult to sustain, given the current circumstances. Teachers and students are engaging in educational methodology that is brand new for almost everyone involved. Aside from the obvious challenges that distance learning can present to students attempting to successfully learn and master new content, we also must take into consideration the multitude of circumstances that many of our students and families currently face during this time of crisis. Moreover, we have a substantial group of students who are not accessing student work through the internet, but who are exclusively utilizing the workbooks and packets we have provided.
Our intention is to provide revised grading direction that does not negatively impact a student’s GPA, and that helps students as much as possible. To that end, CCPS will adopt a fourth quarter grading policy similar to that of many other school districts across Maryland and the nation.
Pass/Incomplete/Final Grade for Course:
- Our expectation is that students engage in the work that our teachers are providing. Students who engage in the work will receive a “Pass” for their 4th quarter grade in their class. This will be notated with a (P) on the report card for 4th quarter.
- Any student who does not engage will receive an “Incomplete” for their 4th quarter grade in their class. This will be notated as an (I) on the report card for 4th quarter.
- Although teachers will continue to provide learning opportunities that cover 4th quarter skills and expectations, there will be no final exams administered and that column will be removed from the electronic report card.
- IMPORTANT - In most all secondary courses, a final grade must be provided. We will utilize grades from the previous quarter (or quarters if not a semesterized course), and take into consideration whether or not a student received a “Pass” or “Incomplete” in the 4th quarter, to determine the final grade for the course. The final course grade will be factored into a student’s overall GPA as it typically would, but there will be no quality points assigned for quarter four. Similar to our approach to the 3rd quarter, a student’s final grade, in a semesterized course, cannot be lower than their 3rd quarter grade, but could improve, based on their engagement in distance learning in quarter four.
- In secondary courses that only meet during the 4th quarter, a grade of “Pass” will be the final grade and a grade of “Incomplete” will be converted into a final “Passing” grade (P) or “Failing” grade (F) on June 30th.
- Elementary students do not take final exams or receive final grades. They will receive a 4th quarter grade of “Pass” or “Incomplete.”
- Since we will not be issuing traditional grades, interims will not be distributed for fourth quarter.
We acknowledge that there is no perfect approach to grading in our current situation. The aim of our changes is to support all students by not creating more difficult circumstances than those we are already facing.
If you have questions or concerns about grading, please contact your child’s teacher. The school principal is also available to resolve any issues that may arise during this time.
Carroll County Public Schools Continuity of Learning Plan (4/17/20)
Carroll County Public Schools continues to provide and update a Continuity of Learning Plan that sets reasonable expectations during this national state of emergency. We realize there is a great deal of uncertainty about school operations at this time, and this has created anxiety in our staff and those we serve. As we continue to receive direction and gather more insight during this unprecedented time, our goal is to place students, families, and our staff in a position to be as successful as possible.
The CCPS Continuity of Learning Plan provides staff, students, and families with the framework of expectations for distance learning in varied settings. The plan aligns with Pillar I of our CCPS Strategic Plan of “providing multiple pathways for student success.”
Click here to view the Plan.
Schools to Remain Closed through May 15th (4/17/20)
As you may be aware, this afternoon the Governor and the State Superintendent announced that schools in Maryland will continue to be closed through Friday, May 15.
We realize that this revision brings with it many questions and concerns for our students, parents, and staff. Please be assured that we will be communicating with you next week regarding the implications of this decision for Carroll County Public Schools.
In the meantime, we hope you and your family remain healthy and safe.
Electronic Kindergarten Registration (4/17/20)
Enrollment in kindergarten is mandatory for children who turn five years of age on or before September 1, 2020. Due to the extended closure of schools, please reach out to your school’s principal through email to begin the kindergarten enrollment process if you were not able to register prior to the closing of schools. Once the principal receives your request, he or she will work with each family to acquire the needed documentation to allow enrollment to move forward.
Finding your child’s school:
Principals’ email addresses may be found at the following link by clicking the specific school in your attendance area:
Please email the principal the following information:
- Parent Name
- Child Name
- Current Address
- Phone Number
Emergency Meal Distribution – 2 New Sites Added (4/17/20)
Click here to view the updated emergency meal distribution flyer. Sites will be added at Eldersburg and Parr’s Ridge Elementary Schools beginning Tuesday, April 21.
Emergency Meal Distribution – 2 Sites Added (4/10/20)
Distribution sites are being added at Spring Garden Elementary School and East Middle School, effective Tuesday, April 14.
Please click here for the updated flyer.
Information Regarding School Calendar and Meal Distribution (4/6/20)
In accordance with the 2019-2020 school calendar, all CCPS schools and offices will be closed on Friday, April 10, and Monday, April 13. At this point in time, we are not making any school year calendar adjustments until we receive additional information or direction from the Maryland State Department of Education.
Please be advised that meal distribution will not take place on these days. However, on Thursday, April 9, every child 18 and under will receive meals for Thursday, Friday, and Monday. Please click here for more information.
Guidance for Parents and Students Regarding Third and Fourth Quarter Grades (4/6/20)
Guidance for Parents and Students Regarding Third Quarter Grades
The last day before schools were closed was March 13th. Before students were dismissed on March 13th, as best they could, teachers provided students with learning activities to engage with as they were able during the initial two weeks of closure.
During that time, students could take advantage of on-line learning opportunities, and/or paper and pencil activities while teachers set up digital classrooms for on-line learning, and the system worked on preparing packets and workbooks for learning. On Monday, March 30th, CCPS began formalized distance learning for all students. Depending upon device and internet availability in the home, students have been participating in distance learning at varying levels.
While the existing date for the third quarter to end is today, April 6th, we are making several adjustments to the third quarter grading period. Teachers are following the guidance below when issuing third quarter grades:
- The grade a student had as of the school closure on March 13th cannot be lowered, but can be maintained or improved.
- The third quarter grading window will be extended to April 17th. During this time, students will have the opportunity to raise their grade based on their engagement and any work completed through April 17th.
- During the week of April 20th, third quarter report cards will be posted in HAC. An email will be sent to inform you when these are available to be viewed in HAC (grades 3-12).
- A report card will be sent through the mail to parents of students in grades Pre-k-2. Parents should expect to receive the report card in the mail the week of April 27th.
If your child has not had access to a computer and/or internet during the school closure, and you have questions about how your child can turn in work to impact their third quarter grade, please contact your child’s teacher.
Guidance for Students and Parents Regarding Fourth Quarter Grades
Based on State Superintendent Karen Salmon’s last announcement, Maryland public schools will be closed through April 24th. When we get further guidance on the length of school closures, we will issue a statement on the way in which student progress will be determined and issued for fourth quarter.
CCPS, our teachers, principals, and staff will continue to work with you, problem solve issues you may be facing during this time, and be as flexible as possible given the circumstances. Again, please contact your child's teacher should you have any questions regarding third quarter.
Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work together during these unprecedented times.
Emergency Meal Distribution – New Site (4//6/20)
Elmer Wolfe Elementary School has been added as a site for meal distribution. Click here to see the revised flyer.
Update on Statewide Assessments (4/2/20)
The United States Department of Education has determined that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland will NOT need to administer statewide assessments for the 2019-2020 school year to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The lack of test administration in Maryland will not affect annual accountability determinations, be used to identify schools for support and improvement, or to provide data on Maryland's and local report cards for assessment and accountability information for the 2019-20 school year.
This means that for the remainder of the school year CCPS will NOT administer the previously scheduled state assessments for math, language arts, science, social studies, alternative assessments or the climate survey.
Additional Information on Computer Distribution (3/31/20)
As a reminder, if you completed the Computer Internet Survey or have spoken to your school recently about your technology needs, there is no need to make additional contact with the school. We have the information we need and will be using that to move forward with our computer distribution.
Laptop Requests (3/31/20)
We would like to thank all families for your quick response regarding the need to borrow laptops for your children. Because the number of requests coming in is greater than anticipated, we are asking that each family limit that request to one per household. The deadline to respond to your child’s school principal is tomorrow, April 1st, at 4:00 p.m. Once we have finalized the numbers and prepared the laptops for distribution, you will be receiving directions on when, where, and how to pick up the computer.
Thank you for your support and patience as we move through this process together.
Continuity of Learning Plan FAQ (3/30/20)
Carroll County Public Schools has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document on the Continuity of Learning Plan as a resource for members of our school system community. We encourage you to return to the document often, as we will continue to update it as we move forward.
Please click here to view the FAQ.
CCPS Wi-Fi Access on School Grounds (3/30/20)
CCPS encourages parents/students with smart phones to contact their providers about free mobile hotspot features that may currently be available to them. This will allow users to utilize their phones as a mobile hot spot. All major providers should have this feature available.
CCPS encourages parents/students to utilize the free Comcast/Xfininty Wi-Fi service that was enabled for non-Comcast customers. Ting is offering the same in Westminster. Obviously, this is more viable in more densely populated areas.
CCPS has enabled Guest Wi-Fi access on all school bus loop external access points, which are viable on each school’s website under “CCPS Wi-Fi Access on School Grounds.”
CCPS encourages parents/students to take advantage of this same capability at Carroll County Public Library branches.
Mobile wireless hot spots will not be made available to individual students without internet access. We understand the challenges some may face with the limited accessibility issue Carroll County residents may experience. We encourage parents/guardians to contact their local internet providers to explore the programs available to them. Comcast offers reduced internet fees through a program called Internet Essentials, which is offering two months of free service during the coronavirus emergency.
Message from the Superintendent - School Closure (3/25/20)
As you may be aware, today the Maryland State Superintendent announced that schools will remain closed through April 24, 2020, due to concerns of the spread of COVID-19. All CCPS and non-CCPS sponsored activities in our school facilities will be canceled during this time.
Like you, we are devastated that this has happened and recognize the challenges this will bring. We anticipated that this could be a possibility and for the last few weeks have been preparing ways in which to provide continuity of learning for our students. Our goal is to keep students engaged as much as possible through a distance learning approach.
This past week, our principals and teaching staff held virtual meetings to train, plan, and prepare as best as possible to support this distance learning effort. We are also gathering and finalizing distribution plans for digital devices that will help ensure our students can fully engage in these models. These devices will be prioritized for students in need.
We know that our families are in different places when it comes to internet access and technology in the home. We will be providing varying methods to deliver learning opportunities that will include online learning and traditional pencil and paper.
Our preparation has included designing plans for remote student learning that use multiple tools. For example, numerous online tools and resources, as well as hard copy workbooks (grades pre-K – 8) and learning packets (all grades), will be used to provide learning opportunities to students.
Our students and staff will be asked to use these various tools and engage in teaching and learning in new and sometimes different ways. Please keep in mind that transitioning to a new learning model will continue to take time and patience. Do not expect starting Monday, March 30, that everything will be completely in place. We stated in an earlier communication that this will not be perfect, nor can this be expected to simply replace our traditional face-to-face, in-school instructional delivery. That is not our expectation. There will be challenges and obstacles to overcome, but we know that by being patient, working collaboratively, and continuing to communicate with each other, we will make the most of this difficult situation for our students and help ensure that they continue to have opportunities to learn during this unprecedented time.
We know the State Superintendent's decision brings with it many questions regarding graduation, assessments, and other issues. We are awaiting direction from the Maryland State Department of Education and will be communicating with you as soon as this information becomes available. We are in the process of creating a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for all questions related to continuity of learning in Carroll County Public Schools in light of the closures created by COVID-19, and will put that on the home page of our website soon.
The teacher-family partnership will be a key element in developing successful distance learners. We understand the stress families are under during this time and know not all of the following can be done easily, but we wanted to provide some tips for supporting students as they engage in distance learning:
- Monitor updates from teachers
- Help students access interactive online resources and tools, such as Google Classroom, and/or work through the print material packets/workbooks that they receive
- Designate a location where learning will take place
- Create a daily schedule to follow that provides routine
- Ask students to provide a brief summary of their learning to ensure understanding of the content
- Maintain communication with teacher(s) and seek support as needed from school staff
- Assist students when seeking additional clarification and/or learning support from their classroom teacher(s)
- Monitor students’ work and support them.
In the coming days, you will be hearing more from your principal and teacher as we move forward in this process, including information regarding when you can expect packets and workbooks to arrive through the mail to your home, teacher “office hours” when you can connect with your child’s teachers, detailed instruction and support for accessing online resources and tools, and so on.
As we move into this distance learning approach, your child’s teachers and principal will be the best source of answers to questions you may have about distance learning, support, and guidance as it relates to the learning opportunities for your students. We are navigating uncharted waters, and we are proud of how everyone is doing whatever they can to step up to meet the challenge.
Take care and stay safe and well. We will persevere through this difficult time together.
Steven A. Lockard
Superintendent of Schools
Home Internet Access and Technology (3/23/20)
As we begin our second week of school closures, hopefully everyone is doing as well as possible and staying healthy and safe.
As you are aware, last week you were sent a survey regarding access to technology in your home. We recognize that many of our families in Carroll County live in rural areas or have unique circumstances where internet access is limited, capped or may be unreliable, as in the case of hot spots.
We are aware that this kind of descriptor was not an option included on the survey. If this applies to your family, we would ask that you contact your school principal through email to make sure that they are aware of your family’s situation. Please be sure to include your child’s first and last name and grade when you contact the principal. This will allow them to provide the most appropriate means of support as we anticipate the shift to distance learning. Your principal's email can be found by going to your school website and clicking on “About Us” and then “Staff Directory.”
Please continue to visit our website at www.carrollk12.org for information on COVID-19 and our CCPS learning resources.
As we move through these uncertain times, we will continue to communicate and update you on our efforts to provide continuity of learning and to make sure our students have opportunities to stay engaged in learning.
Message from the Superintendent (3/20/20)
I would like to thank you for your patience in this unprecedented time in public education and in our nation. First and foremost, we hope that you and your families are remaining safe and well during the school closure. We miss our students! While we are devastated that this has happened and recognize all the challenges it brings, we also recognize the need for the important measures that have been taken across Maryland to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and keep all of our students, families, and staff members as safe as possible. While we have not received any additional information regarding closure beyond the initial two weeks at this moment, we anticipate that happening and are planning accordingly. Should we receive any new information we will update you as soon as possible.
In anticipation of an extended closure, we have been working around the clock to best prepare for this scenario and to transition to continuity of learning for a longer duration of time. We recognize that an unprecedented transition to distance learning will not be perfect. We will work through the challenges, issues, and concerns together with you throughout this time period when we are not in the familiar, traditional comforts of in-school, face-to-face learning. When an announcement is made, we will also be seeking guidance and direction from our Maryland State Department of Education concerning a number of related issues, such as mandated assessments, requirements, high school credits for graduation, and so on. We ask for your continued patience and understanding as CCPS and all systems across our state seek answers to these important questions. We will begin communication of our distance learning plans with all families in the coming days from both CCPS and your child’s individual school.
We sent a survey out to families yesterday to help determine internet and device availability. We continue to work on resources and supports where access or a device is not available to a student. We recognize there are variables to connectivity and special circumstances. As we move forward, our principals and staff will be working to accommodate in every way we can for distance learning, whether it is through internet connection or not, and the unique circumstances you and your family may have. If you have not already filled out the survey we sent to you, please take a moment to do so. We will be reaching out by phone early next week to those families we know do not have email or have not responded. We have provided a link to the survey here:
During this time, we recommend that families communicate and develop a routine for children.
- It is important to have open and honest communication with children regarding COVID-19, but it is also important to be measured and reassuring in what you choose to discuss.
- As always, closely monitor and limit your child's screen time, especially when it comes to news coverage and social media.
- Create as much routine and structure in your child's daily life as you can. We all do better when we have a daily routine and structure in our lives.
We cannot reiterate enough how important it is for you to practice social distancing and to take care of yourselves and your families, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Navigating through the next several weeks will take communication, adaptability, and patience.
We will continue to post resources and the newest school-related information, including locations where CCPS provides free meals, at https://bit.ly/3dj7AAP. Please check it daily. We will also continue to use emails, social media, CETV Channel 21, and other communication tools to provide you with timely updates.
CCPS will do everything we can to support our students and families through this adversity, and by being patient with each other, understanding the circumstances, and working collaboratively through all the challenges to come, we will get through this unprecedented time.
My best to all of our students and families,
Superintendent of Schools
Computer Internet Survey (3/19/20)
We have anticipated there could be changes to the duration of time schools could stay closed. We have been working around the clock to best prepare for the possibility of distance learning for a longer duration of time. Communication of these plans would be shared with all families in the coming days from both CCPS and individual schools. In order to best prepare, we want to know whether students have access to the internet at home. We also need to determine whether a device is available to students in the home. This will allow us to finalize resources and supports where access or a device is not available to a student. Please take a moment to click the link below and complete this important survey.
Logging in to Discovery Ed and Clever (3/18/20)
If your child is having difficulties logging in to Discovery Ed or Clever, please make sure you are entering the student username with @star.carrollk12.org appended to the end. The student username is typically formatted with three letters and four random numbers. So, if the student username is XYZ1234, you will want to type in XYZ1234@star.carrollk12.org as the username.
If you still are having issues accessing these resources, please send an email to email@example.com and someone will assist you via email. Please send the email from the account we have on file for you so we can verify your identity.
Instructional Resources (3/18/20)
We want to thank and continue to encourage our families to engage in the many online resources we have availed throughout the CCPS Instructional Resource Site. We also wanted to share that not all students are familiar with every resource we have in our system. Several of these resources are grade level, content or course specific.
Specifically, we have received a number of inquiries pertaining to Clever. If you are having difficulty logging into Clever, it very well could be that your child has never used this resource. In this case, your child may not have access to this resource or the necessary log-in credentials.
The CCPS Instructional Resource website was provided as a resource for teachers and families to access in our two weeks away from school to maintain skills and conceptual understanding. If you are having difficulty logging into an application or site, we are asking that you remain patient and take advantage of other resources that may be available within the website where your child may have some familiarity.
We plan to update this resource site in the days ahead to provide more access and opportunities to our students.
Emergency Meals Now Include Dinner (3/16/20)
Revised Meals Flyer
Distribución de comidas de emergencia
Update from the Superintendent (3/16/20)
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Now that we have started our school closure, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our families for your patience and support as we work through this very challenging time. We have never experienced times quite like this and are truly grateful for your understanding as we face difficult decisions while at the same time keeping in mind what is in the best interest of our students and staff.
I want you to know how truly grateful I am to have an opportunity to serve the families of such a caring community. It is important that we continue to work together to do our part in controlling the spread of the coronavirus so that our students and staff can return to their classrooms and continue to achieve their goals to become college and career ready.
I am aware that the sudden closing of schools has left our community with many questions. Please be assured that we will continue to communicate with you as often as necessary to make sure you have the most up-to-date and accurate information available regarding our schools.
I encourage you to visit our website at www.carrollk12.org where you will find all of our communications, as well as excellent resources regarding the coronavirus. In addition, the Carroll County Health Department has provided some very helpful information from the CDC on talking to your children about the coronavirus. The link is provided below.
I wish you and your family good health during this period of time. It is my hope that by working together we will be able to return to normalcy as soon as possible.
Steven A. Lockard, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Information for Parents/Guardians During School Closure (3/13/20)
You may have heard today that the first case of COVID-19 has been identified in Carroll County. The Carroll County Health Department is actively investigating this case. At this time, we have no indication that there has been any direct impact to our students or staff.
We would like to notify you that during this school closure, our school buildings will be closed to the public. This begins this evening, Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 29. Our school buildings will re-open on Monday, March 30.
If you need to communicate with your principal, please contact them through e-mail. Our principals’ email addresses can be found on your school’s website or on the homepage of our school system website at www.carrollk12.org.
Our central office will remain in operation. However, in-person interactions with the public will be by appointment only. Central office staff will continue to be available by phone and email.
The Carroll County Health Department has also asked us to remind you that their call center is open this weekend from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. The number for the call center is 410-876-4848.
We will continue to communicate with you as updates occur. Thank you for your understanding.
Emergency Meal Distribution to Children (3/13/20)
Carroll County Public Schools is participating in the Emergency Feeding Program. Meals will be provided to all children without charge.
Emergency Meals Flyer
Distribución de comidas de emergencia
CCPS Resource Site, Special Education and SAT Information (3/13/20)
Content specialists in the department of curriculum and instruction have been working closely with teachers, administrators, and other professionals to bring together resources for all Carroll County Public Schools students. To support all the traditional learning resources our teachers make available for students, we have created a Google Site that provides students and families with resources to encourage ongoing academic engagement while at home. Read full message.
CCPS Resource Site
Sitio de recursos de CCPS, educación especial e información SAT
Learning Materials for School Closure (3/12/20)
Under the direction of State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon, all Maryland public schools, including Carroll County Public Schools, will be closed beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. Schools will re-open on Monday, March 30. All CCPS and non-CCPS sponsored activities in our school facilities will be canceled. Today, students will be provided with materials to allow for learning during the closure. There will be a variety of activities available, including online and traditional paper and pencil. The link to the online educational resources are below. These educational activities are intended to help students maintain their skills and continue to work on curricular-related content. They will vary by level (elementary, middle, high) as well as by content area. To be clear, the activities are not intended to progress students through new curriculum. Please know that teachers will not be working during the closure, so student learning will be self-directed. Please use parental judgement when determining which activities will be completed, and how much time will be allotted daily.
Medication Pick-Up (3/12/20)
Parents may find it necessary to pick up their child's daily medication to have at home during the upcoming school closure. If you don’t find it necessary to have the medication during the closure, you do not need to pick it up. Parents are encouraged to pick up medication by 4:00 pm on Friday, March 13, if needed. Please contact your child’s school if you have any questions.
School Attendance on Friday (3/12/20)
As we shared in our earlier message, the Maryland State Superintendent has mandated the closure of all Maryland schools from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. This leaves tomorrow as the only day to prepare our students for the two-week break. Please do your best to ensure children attend school tomorrow to receive important information and have an opportunity to check out books and other materials to take home during the break.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
All CCPS Schools Closed March 16-27 (Posted 3/12/20)
Under the direction of State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon, all Maryland public schools, including Carroll County Public Schools, will be closed beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. Schools will re-open on Monday, March 30. All CCPS and non-CCPS sponsored activities in our school facilities will be canceled.
This action is being taken in all Maryland public school systems as a preventative measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus and out of an abundance of caution. The safety and well-being of students and staff continue to be our top priority.
We will be sharing additional information with you tomorrow and throughout this period of closure. In the meantime, we encourage you to review the information and tips on our website for keeping you and your family healthy. And, we can’t stress enough the importance of practicing the preventive measures we have outlined in previous communications. These measures can also be found on our website.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we work through this challenging time.
MSDE News Release on School Closures
Out-of-State Travel Canceled Due to Coronavirus (3/11/2020)
Carroll County Public Schools is canceling all out-of-state travel for students and staff effective immediately and until further notice. This includes all out-of-state field trips, meetings, events, conferences, and athletic activities.
Our goal as a school system is to be consistent with Governor Hogan’s direction that all out-of-state travel for state employees has been canceled in an effort to contain any spread of the coronavirus in Maryland. When students and staff travel to another state, that effort may be compromised. The decision was also made out of an abundance of caution to minimize the risk to CCPS students, staff, and families.
All CCPS schools and buildings are fully operational, and scheduled activities within the schools, as well as travel in Maryland, will continue as planned for now.
This decision alone cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. All Carroll County citizens are reminded to increase precautions and practice healthy habits as recommended by the Carroll County Health Department. CCPS will continue to receive guidance and collaborate on efforts to help protect our students and staff.
CCPS reminds the community that while the current local risk of COVID-19 is low, the public should consult reputable sources of information such as the school system's website at www.carrollk12.org.
As always, the health and safety of our students and staff are always a high priority in our decision-making process.
Message from the Superintendent - Coronavirus Update (3/9/2020)
Dear CCPS Families and Staff,
As you are probably aware, there have been a few cases of the coronavirus in Maryland, but none in Carroll County at this point in time. There has been no decision to close schools. If we reach that point, please know that the decision will be made only after soliciting recommendations and input from our local and state health departments. The safety and well-being of our students and staff will continue to be the basis for any decision.
We will continue to keep you updated as we move through this process. In the meantime, we encourage you to review the information and tips on our website for keeping you and your family healthy. And, we can’t stress enough the importance of practicing the preventive measures we have outlined in previous communications. These measures can also be found on our website.
Over the weekend, it was brought to our attention that an “imposter” Carroll County Public Schools Instagram account contained a post announcing that CCPS would be closing for two weeks due to the coronavirus. We would like to assure you that this was indeed a hoax and the school system does not have an official Instagram account.
We would like to remind you that official notification to parents and staff would take place through our routine communication channels, which include phone, email, and text messages through our SchoolMessenger system. In addition, information will continue to be posted on our website at www.carrollk12.org and our social media accounts, which include Facebook and Twitter, as well as CETV – Channel 21.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
Steven A. Lockard, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Coronavirus Update (3/6/2020)
Dear CCPS Families and Staff,
As you are likely aware, the first three cases of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 were reported yesterday in Montgomery County, Maryland. The patients all contracted the virus while traveling overseas and are currently in good condition and in quarantine at their homes.
Governor Hogan is urging Maryland residents to continue to go to work and school. CCPS schools and scheduled activities will continue unless a change is recommended by local and state public health professionals.
Please be assured that the school system continues to closely monitor and evaluate the situation and is making necessary preparations in case the virus does affect our community and our schools. We continue our collaboration with the County Health Department and are actively monitoring updates from the Maryland Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We are following the Maryland Department of Health communicable disease protocol.
We ensure that our buildings are appropriately cleaned and disinfected, and our cleaning practices and products more than meet the required industry standards. In addition, we continue to emphasize the strategies for reducing transmission of any flu-like illness, including self-care, good hygiene, and best practices. Please note, students are permitted to bring their own personal size hand sanitizer to school.
We all play a role in reducing the likelihood of a coronavirus outbreak in our community. We cannot overstate the importance of practicing good habits such as:
- Regular handwashing
- Coughing or sneezing into a tissue and then throwing the tissue away
- Coughing or sneezing into your arm if you don’t have a tissue
- Avoiding touching your eyes, mouth, or nose
- Keeping children home from school when they are feeling sick
- Allowing children some time to feel better so that they do not risk infecting others
- Avoiding close contact with sick people.
Should we discover that any student or school staff member has been exposed to the coronavirus in some way, or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, we will immediately collaborate with the Carroll County Health Department and follow their recommendations for investigation, communication, and response.
The situation and guidance are evolving rapidly, and we will continue to collaborate with our public health partners to make informed decisions in the best interests of our school system. Next week, key school system staff will be joining a meeting with the Carroll County Health Department and the Carroll County Emergency Management team to further discuss coordinated efforts, preparedness, and the latest updates.
We have created a link on the homepage of our website at www.carrollk12.org that parents and staff can visit to find all of the communications we have sent, as well as links to the local and state health departments and the CDC. Here you can also find valuable information such as correct handwashing techniques and tips for keeping your family healthy.
We are so grateful to our parents, employees, students, and community for your support as we continue to work through the rapidly changing situation presented by the coronavirus.
We will continue to communicate with you in the days and weeks to come. As always, the safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff and families remain our top priority.
Steven A. Lockard, Ph.D. Edwin F. Singer, L.E.H.S.
Superintendent of Schools Carroll County Health Officer
Preventative Health Measures for Coronavirus (3/4/2020)
In coordination with the Carroll County Health Department and Maryland Department of Health, Carroll County Public Schools continues to closely monitor the coronavirus situation. We would like to share with you some preventative health measures that are recommended for avoiding colds, flu, and other respiratory illnesses.
It seems simple enough, but is often times forgotten, that one of the most important things you and your family can do is to wash your hands frequently or use alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Now is the time to remind your children about the importance of washing their hands.
Please click on the link below to see the proper procedure for washing your hands.
Other preventative measures include:
- covering coughs and sneezes
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces
- staying home when sick
- avoiding close contact with sick people
- remaining home until fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
Please click on the links below to see additional information on preparing for the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak.
Centers for Disease Control
Carroll County Health Department
Maryland Department of Health
By following these tips and taking these important steps, we can all work together to keep our families and our community healthy safe.
Coronavirus Information (2/28/2020)
In coordination with the Carroll County Health Department and Maryland Department of Health, Carroll County Public Schools is closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and any impact it may have locally. Currently, there are no known cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in Carroll County or in Maryland. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), risk to the U.S. public is considered low at this time.
Our School Health Services program coordinates with the Carroll County Health Department regarding public health actions to keep our schools and our community safe. Since January, we have been monitoring and communicating information about the coronavirus from our local and state health departments with our school nurses and administrators.
Just as we would encourage during a typical cold and flu season, it is important to emphasize that any students or employees who are exhibiting symptoms such as fever and cough should stay home, use preventative health measures, and contact their health care provider.
When a new disease is circulating, it is natural for people to be concerned and to ask what they can do to protect themselves and their families. It is important to get information about COVID-19 from reliable public health sources. We have included links for your information:
During the winter season, other viruses that cause respiratory illness are common. Preventative health measures that are recommended for avoiding colds, flu, and other respiratory illnesses include:
- washing hands frequently, or using alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available
- covering coughs and sneezes
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces
- staying home when sick
- avoiding close contact with sick people
- remaining home until fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication
If you have questions about your child’s attendance at school, please contact the school directly. If you have additional questions about the coronavirus after reviewing the links above, you can call the health department at 410-876-2152.
We recognize that this is an evolving situation and is constantly being reassessed. We will continue to stay in close, collaborative contact with our health department partners and will share additional information regarding Carroll County Public Schools as needed. Thank you for your help in keeping Carroll County Public Schools safe and healthy.
Steven A. Lockard, Ph.D. Edwin F. Singer, L.E.H.S.
Superintendent of Schools Carroll County Health Officer