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News Release, Charles County Public Schools

The Charles County Board of Education voted today to start the 2020-21 school year with virtual learning for all students, with a goal of transitioning to Phase 2 as quickly as possible. Phase 2 would include in-person instruction for special populations of students. The first day of the 2020-21 school year is Monday, Aug. 31.

The Board asked the Superintendent to conduct another survey, this time asking students in special populations and their parents, as well as all teachers, their comfort levels with participating in in-person teaching and learning. Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) defines special populations as students qualifying for special education, 504 students, English Learners (EL) students, students without technology access, Career and Technical Education (CTE) students, homeless and displaced students, and students of parents who are CCPS employees and bus drivers.

Board members indicated they might revise their vote to allow in-person teaching and learning for special population students prior to the start of the school year depending on results of the surveys. Parents of students in special populations are able to opt in for their child to attend school for in-person learning.

Superintendent Kimberly A. Hill presented the Board with two options for each grade level to start the school year – one including both in-school and virtual learning and one including only virtual learning. The Board, in a vote of 5 to 2, chose virtual learning for all students in prekindergarten through Grade 12. The student Board member opposed the motion.

Starting Aug. 31, prekindergarten through Grade 5 students will participate four days per week in online learning with their home school classroom teacher. Teachers will provide live instruction using a new learning management platform through Synergy. Instruction will be rigorous and planned for students to master grade-level standards. Children will be required to attend all live lessons unless absent due to illness. Teachers will use traditional grading.

Students in Grades 6-12 will participate four days per week in online learning with their home school teachers. Instruction will be rigorous and planned so students master grade level and course standards. Students are required to attend all live, virtual lessons unless absent due to illness. Teachers will use traditional grading scales and award credits for the successful completion of each class.

CCPS will share additional details about plans for online learning on the school system website, ccboe.com.

This is a developing story…