Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students officially begin the 2020-21 school year online Monday, Aug. 31. More than 27,000 students are expected to log on Aug. 31 to start an enhanced virtual learning experience. Students will learn virtually four days a week with a mid-week break on Wednesdays to participate in pre-planned instruction, focused instructional needs or classwork. Students in the prekindergarten program begin online instruction Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Some CCPS teachers will oversee lessons from home through telework, while others have opted to return to their school buildings to teach from their classrooms. While this is an unprecedented way for CCPS to open a school year, the school system is committed to ensuring all students have a successful 2020-21 school year.
The following is important back-to-school information for parents, students and staff.
How does a student access virtual lessons?
Teachers will present live instruction using a secure Zoom connection in Synergy, the student information system connected to StudentVue and ParentVue. Parents and students should create a shortcut on the desktop of the laptop or computer used for virtual learning. A shortcut takes users directly to the StudentVue website. A video tutorial on how to do this is available for view here. Complete written instructions are posted on the CCPS website here.
Opt-out of live instruction
CCPS expects all children to attend school virtually during regular school hours and attend all live lessons. However, school system staff understand family situations are different during a pandemic. Parents may request an alternative for their child to attend live instruction. Parents can request for their child to access instruction through recorded lessons. Applying to opt-out of live instruction does not guarantee approval and students cannot complete a mix of live and recorded instruction.
All approved students will be counted as “present” and given credit for attending instruction unless there is a concern with incomplete work. Parents interested in applying for this accommodation can complete the application linked here. Parents must check that they agree to the conditions.
Student user name and password for online learning
Students will start the school year in a virtual format on StudentVue and will need to know their CCPS-issued student identification number and password. A student’s user name is their CCPS six-digit ID number. For example, 123456. Parents using the desktop site for ParentVue will see their child’s student identification number next to their child’s picture when they log in. Student ID numbers are also printed on report cards and visible on the ID card area of the ParentVue mobile app. Password information for students also is visible in ParentVue, under the Other Information menu area. School staff can provide student ID numbers and passwords to parents at request. Parents can also request this information through the General Question help area of Ask CCPS at https://www.ccboe.com/askccps/.
Information hotline for students and parents
CCPS staff is managing a back-to-school hotline to answer parent and student questions. The hotline is available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 27 to Sept. 1. The hotline number is 301-932-6655.
Distribution of instructional materials and technology
Principals are contacting parents direct to schedule dates and times for families to pick up instructional materials and electronic devices. If you have questions about instructional materials your child may need to start school, please call your child’s school.
Laptop, hotspot requests
Families in need of a laptop or hotspot for their child to use during virtual learning can put in a request on Ask CCPS. High school parents do not need to submit a request for a laptop. High school students should receive a new laptop prior to the start of school. The school system is waiting for deliveries and the return of borrowed laptops and does not have enough laptops with a camera to provide to all elementary students and teachers. Until all devices come in, prekindergarten through Grade 2 students may receive an iPad instead of a laptop.
To submit a request using Ask CCPS, visit ccboe.com, and select the Ask CCPS image located under the photo slideshow. Select the Open a New Ticket blue button on the right side of the page. Complete the required information and choose Request a Laptop from the help topic menu. Hotspot requests should be completed using the Technology Help option. Parents can check the status of the ticket at any time. The staff is working to assign laptops and hotspots as quickly as possible. Ask CCPS is available at https://www.ccboe.com/askccps/.
Follow the year with the new calendar
The 2020-21 Parent Handbook/Calendar is posted on the CCPS website at https://www.ccboe.com/images/calendar/202021CCPSCalendar.pdf. Schools will hand out copies to parents during designated laptop and material pick-up dates. Parents in need of a print copy can submit a request through Ask CCPS for a mailed copy. Ask CCPS is located on the main website, ccboe.com, under the photo slideshow. Requests for mailed copies will not be honored until after the second week of school. Tickets should be submitted using the General Question area of Ask CCPS and include a complete mailing address.
School closure dates in the calendar
Students will not participate in virtual learning on days listed in the calendar as closed for students. Students will not participate in virtual learning on Monday, Sept. 7, and Friday, Sept. 18.
School supply lists available on school websites
School supply lists for the coming school year are posted on individual school websites. To visit a school website from ccboe.com, select the Schools menu from the main home page and click on the name of the school. If your child’s school website does not have a supply list, contact the school to see if one is available/needed.
Virtual meet and greet and other back-to-school events
Several schools are coordinating back-to-school virtual events for students and parents. Call your child’s school to inquire about events planned for the school community. Schools are also posting events on their school website. To access a school website, visit www.ccboe.com and select the Schools Menu at the top of the homepage, then click on the name of your child’s school.
ParentVue and StudentVue also feature the CCPS online grade book program for parents and students to track grades, attendance, assignments, and more. The system will be live for the 2020-21 school year the week of Aug. 24. It important, especially during virtual learning, that both parents and students use these accounts. Teachers will present live instruction using StudentVue and share class updates through the platform to communicate with students and parents.
Parents who do not have account activation information can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. CCPS is also mailing activation letters to all parents with inactive accounts. An overview of how to use ParentVue is posted on the CCPS website at https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/parentvue-account-overview.
Where can I find my child’s daily schedule?
School staff is finalizing and posting student schedules through ParentVue and StudentVue the week of Aug. 24. In both ParentVue and StudentVue, schedules will show in the Class Schedule menu area. Parents and students without an active account should activate online access as soon as possible. Information for ParentVue is posted here. Students can click here for more details about StudentVue.
School meals program begins Aug. 31 at 17 sites
The school meals program will be available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 17 school serving sites. Some sites will also offer an evening serving time of 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Meals are available only to CCPS enrolled students and parents must show their child’s student identification number to pick up a meal bag. Students who do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals will be charged $4.10 per meal bag. Click here for more information and a list of serving sites.
CCPS uses an online cafeteria prepayment system called MyPayments Plus. Parents can add money and monitor their child’s meal accounts. Visit https://www2.mypaymentsplus.com/welcome to sign up or access your account. Parents can apply online for free and reduced-price meals at https://www.myschoolapps.com/Application.
Fall and winter athletics canceled this year, extracurricular activities on hold
Earlier this month, CCPS announced the postponement of the fall and winter high school athletic seasons. The Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association (MPSSAA) postponed fall and winter sports throughout Maryland schools during the first semester. Virtual activities for clubs, performance groups, and student representative groups begin Sept. 21 with dates for in-person activities to be determined. CCPS has a Return to Play committee that is developing ways to reintroduce athletics and extracurricular activities. Read more at https://www.ccboe.com/pr/fall-winter-sports-seasons-extracurricular-activities-postponed/.
CCPS Reopening Plan – five phases to reopen
CCPS has a reopening plan that includes a detailed outline of how the school system will safely reopen schools for face-to-face instruction. The plan outlines five phases of learning, starting with Phase 1 on Aug. 31 in an all-virtual format. The plan is fluid and based on information available from health partners. CCPS will use data and examine health conditions in the community to drive decisions about the movement of phases to safely educate CCPS students and welcome all children and staff back to school buildings. The reopening plan is posted on the CCPS website at https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/reopening-plan-fall-2020.
Parents who still need to register their child for school can complete the process online at https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/online-registration. The registration website includes step-by-step directions for users. Parents with students already enrolled in CCPS can register another child using an active ParentVue account. A registration tab is located in the upper right-hand corner of all active ParentVue accounts. Click the tab to begin registration.
Parents new to CCPS must first create a ParentVue account to register online using a valid email address. New users must select create a new account from the more options menu area (located underneath the word Login). The online registration process requires users to upload document copies and/or images of required documents. A school staff member will review all online registrations and screen submissions to ensure all required information is submitted.
Share your back-to-school excitement with us
Help CCPS celebrate the start of another school year. Tag us in your social media on the first day of school posts with #btsccps20. A gallery featuring shared content will be posted on the school system website, ccboe.com.
Receive email, phone and text notifications from CCPS
CCPS uses email, phone calls, and text message alerts as part of the systemwide and school-based parent and staff communication. The notification system, School Messenger, pulls data from the CCPS student information and staff data systems. It is important parents provide a valid phone number and email address to their child’s school. Parents should notify their child’s school of any changes. Text message alerts are available as an opt-in feature, meaning parents must opt-in to receive messages. Text Y or YES to 67587. Standard message rates by cell phone carriers apply. Text STOP to 67587 at any time to opt-out.
Community members can receive CCPS emergency text message notification through the Charles County Citizen Notification System (CNS). Sign up at http://www.charlescountymd.gov/CNS and select Charles County Public Schools under notifications to register.