Community Engagement

Town Hall Meetings will be held to discuss recovery. Your input is important! Please ask questions! 

Complete the SMCPS Safe Return to School Survey. 

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 address 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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