Updates from Superintendant

On October 2nd, 2020 the following letter was sent by the superintendent:

Letter from the Superintendent - Updated Timeline - 10/02/20


On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the superintendent of schools discussed the many factors, including a state grant, impacting the return of students to the classroom.

This is a copy of the presentation you can view. You can watch the presentation here: 


On Monday, September 14, 2020, the Chief of Staff was notified of an employee at George Washington Carver Elementary School (GWCES) who tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of participating in a non-school related social event outside of St. Mary’s County. Through the process of contact tracing, and in coordination with the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD), several employees at multiple sites who attended the event and others considered close contacts were placed under quarantine and sent for testing. Testing revealed that additional school system employees who participated in the social event were positive for COVID-19. As a result, GWCES will be closed for all staff through Friday, September 18, 2020. GWCES teachers will continue to provide instruction through the Schoology platform during this time.

Read more...

Carta del superintendente - actualización de otoño - 09/016/20

Return to School Response Forms 

2020-2021 Quarter One

​Schoology is the online learning platform powering our online return to school this 2020-2021 school year.

Schoology provides students with personalized learning experiences. It allows students to keep resources and school materials available to access online, at any time. It also provides students with the opportunity to engage in their classes no matter where their learning is taking place. You can learn more about Schoology on our Schoology Google site.

Information about online learning resources can be found on our online learning page.

Keeping the safety of our staff and students at the center of all our decisions we will be revising our student return date and will remain in virtual learning through the end of the 1st Quarter for the majority of our students.

Return to School Response Forms 

Communication

To view summaries and links to our ongoing communications refer to the following pages:

2020-2021 ongoing communications

2020-2021 ongoing communications - en español

Community Engagement

Recovery Plan Report

Throughout Summer 2020, St. Mary’s County Public Schools worked with stakeholders - parents, students, staff, and community members - to develop its recovery plan for the Fall 2020 Safe Return to School.  

The planning process addressed key questions:

Recovery:

  • How did we bring closure to the 2019-2020 school year and identify needs moving forward?

Redesign:

  • How will we rethink delivery models for instruction, programs, and student services?

Return:

  • How will we adapt and institute procedures for a safe return to school?

These reflective questions encourage us to learn from the experiences of the spring closure, with a focus on moving forward in planning for a safe and productive instructional program for our students.  The plan is a product of a continued review of data and current health conditions, as well as ongoing stakeholder input. Our work is examined through the lens of equity and excellence and ensures the health and safety of our students and staff.

Recovery Plan Site

Recovery Plan Document

Community Engagement

Throughout the recovery planning process, St. Mary's County Public Schools has held a number of public information sessions, including Town Hall and Board of Education presentations.

Update from Superintendant

On Wednesday, September 23, 2020, the superintendent of schools discussed the many factors that were taken into consideration when deciding to "hit pause" on the return of students to the classrooms as well as safety protocols in place when students return.

This is a copy of the presentation you can view. You can watch the presentation here: 

Town Hall Meeting - September 16, 2020 - 4 PM

LEONARDTOWN, MD – St. Mary’s County Public Schools will host a virtual town hall on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the return to school in Fall 2020. Dr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent, will share information with the community on the safe return to school beginning September 21, 2020, and what that will look like for students returning this fall.

Town Hall - September 2, 2020

St. Mary’s County Public Schools will host a virtual town hall on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the return to school in Fall 2020. Dr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent, will share information with the community on the first week of school, to include topics such as:  COVID-19 Guidance for Maryland Schools, getting connected with technology resources, and Special Education.

St. Mary's County Public Schools Live Streaming

This was the presentation material.

Town Hall - August 19, 2020

On Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 4:00 pm, St. Mary’s County Public Schools hosted a virtual town hall meeting that discussed back to School 2020 plans to include topics such as: Daily Student Schedules, Technology Update, Materials Distribution, and Notification and Contact Tracing Protocols.

This was the presentation material.

 

Board of Education Meeting -  August 12, 2020

On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, the Board of Education for St. Mary's County Public Schools met to discuss a number of topics including the safe return to school and the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

This was the presentation material for the Recovery Plan. 

Town Hall - July 29, 2020

On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 4:00 pm, St. Mary’s County Public Schools hosted a virtual town hall meeting that continued addressing the requirements of the Maryland Recovery Plan for Education and planning the safe return of students and staff to schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

This was the presentation material.

 

Please respond to the online survey to let us know if your student has a device or access, as well as technology needs. Please complete a separate form for each child.

Board of Education Presentation - July 22, 2020

SMCPS Update on Recovery and Safe Return to School Planning presented at July 22 Board of Education Meeting:]

This was the presentation material.

Town Hall - July 15, 2020

On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, 4:00 pm, St. Mary’s County Public Schools hosted a virtual town hall meeting that continued addressing the requirements of the Maryland Recovery Plan for Education and planning the safe return of students and staff to schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

This was the presentation material.

Town Hall - June 24, 2020

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 4:00 pm, St. Mary’s County Public Schools hosted a virtual town hall meeting addressing the requirements of the Maryland Recovery Plan for Education and planning the safe return of students and staff to schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

This was the presentation material.

Developing the SMCPS Safe to Return Plan 

St. Mary's County Public Schools will be working throughout the summer with stakeholder groups to develop its plan for the 2020-2021 school year. This plan will focus on addressing how the school system will: 

  • Recovery: How will we bring closure to the 2019-2020 school year and identify needs moving forward?
  • Redesign: How will we rethink delivery models for instruction, programs, and student services?
  • Return: How will we adapt and institute procedures for a safe return to school?

MSDE Recovery Plan

The Maryland State Department of Education introduced the K-12 Decision Matrix on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, to the MSDE State Board of Education. This process outlines 3 Steps to reopening schools. In working through this decision-making process, school systems must follow the guidance outlined in Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for Education (MSDE, revised on June 23, 2020). This plan gives each school system the discretion to make decisions to reopen and determine schedules, calendar, and delivery of instruction.

As part of the Maryland Together plan, MSDE has provided a K-12 Decision Matrix, that outlines direction to school systems for the opening of schools as it aligns with the Governor's Roadmap to Recovery. This Decision Matrix outlines three steps:

  • STEP ONE: The Governor’s Office, in coordination with members of the coronavirus recovery team and experts at the Maryland Department of Health, monitor key health metrics and identify the appropriate stage within Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery. The State Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with the State Board of Education, subsequently determines the operational status of schools within each stage.
    • In Step One, the impact on school systems is as follows: 
      • When the State is in Stage 1: All school activities are to be conducted online and through distance learning platforms.
      • When the State is in Stage 2: Some in-person school activities may commence, in accordance with the Governor’s gating and social distancing measures.
      • When the State is in Stage 3: In-person school activities may fully resume, and schools can begin normal operations.
  • STEP TWO: When the State is in Stage 2, each local school system must meet the Requirements for Opening Schools as outlined in the Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education.
    • All decisions prior to step three can be reevaluated depending on emerging data and trends at the State level
  • STEP THREE: Local school systems make determinations regarding which groups of students and staff will be able to re-enter buildings. Specific schedules, calendar modifications, and delivery of instruction are at the discretion of the local school system. School systems can be more restrictive than the requirements outlined in the State Recovery Plan, and the health and safety measures outlined by the Governor and MDH depending on conditions in their locality.

Reopening Maryland Schools K-12 Decision Matrix Infographic

this image links to the MSDE K 12 Decision Matrix pdf document

Four Pillars 

Using the Maryland Together roadmap, St. Mary's County Public Schools will develop its Fall 2020 Safe Return to School plan based on four pillars: Instruction/Teaching & Learning, Student Services, Supporting Services, and Organizational and System Support.

Cross-Cutting Themes

The foundation of these pillars is the assurance of three key elements that cross each pillar's planning elements:

  • Equity: Assuring equity has been addressed as a component piece of each planning element.
  • Staff Development: Providing ongoing support for staff in the transition to new processes.
  • Stakeholder Input: Providing multiple opportunities for stakeholders (students, staff, families) to provide input throughout the planning process. 

Pillar 1 Instruction - Teaching & Learning

  • Addressing learning gaps and developing a plan for success and recovery
  • Ensuring the alignment of curriculum and instruction to State standards
  • Providing ongoing professional development for staff
  • Developing plans for the continuation of student programs

Pillar 2 Student Services

  • Developing a system for monitoring attendance in blended and online environments, where needed
  • Ensuring Special Education/504/ADA support for students
  • Providing counseling and mental health services
  • Coordinating with the Health Department for safe practices

Pillar 3 Supporting Services

  • Ensuring clean and healthy environments
  • Providing ongoing food and nutrition services
  • Developing multiple transportation plans
  • Developing plans for the deployment of instructional technology
  • Developing plans for athletics and student performance groups

Pillar 4 Organization and System Support

  • Providing ongoing communications and messaging
  • Creating and healthy environments
  • Developing multiple models for scheduling
  • Developing plans for substitute and staffing support

Your Input

Complete the SMCPS Safe Return to School Survey. 


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