Return to Learn Update

March 2, 2021

In this update, you will find information about:

  • Return to full school day schedule

  • Athletics update

  • Health and wellness protocols reminder

The return of students in our schools has been a tremendous success, thanks to the collective efforts of our learning community. WCPS appreciates all of our staff, students, and families who have supported our students and our schools in this exciting time. We continue to welcome back more students each day as we are able.

Beginning Monday, March 15, 2021, all Washington County Public Schools will follow the traditional school day schedule. WCPS will remain in Stage 4 of the Return to Learn Plan.

Return to Full School Day Schedule

As part of our efforts to accelerate student learning, WCPS will return to our normal dismissal times for all schools on Monday, March 15, 2021. This involves extending the current school day by approximately 45 minutes. See the chart below.


Students who are currently learning in person every day will continue to do so. Students who are learning in person on the A day/B day schedule will also continue to do so. Students who are learning online will also follow the full school day schedule beginning March 15.


Returning to the traditional school day schedule is one strategy to address the achievement gaps that have resulted from the school closures during the pandemic. This strategy adds at least 42 hours of instruction per student between March 15th and the end of the school year. This time is incredibly valuable to meeting the needs of students, both in person and online.

School day bell schedule

Athletics Update

WCPS is proud of our athletes who are currently competing in winter sports! We are one of only three counties in Maryland holding a competitive winter sports season, and we are the only county in the state allowing some spectators. We appreciate fans who are also supporting our athletes from a distance by watching our video live streams!

WCPS will kick off the spring sports season on Monday, March 15, 2021, with in-person practices. Look for a Return to Play Update next week with more information about what’s in store for the season!

Health and Wellness Protocol Reminder

If a WCPS student, whether learning online or in person, is being tested for COVID-19, the parent/guardian should report this to the child’s principal and the WCPS COVID-19 Response Team by emailing responseCOVID19@wcps.k12.md.us. If you find out your child has been exposed to an individual with COVID-19, the same notification process should be followed. The COVID-19 Response Team is prepared to respond to give you appropriate next steps.


In addition, if a student travels for personal reasons, this should also be reported to the school principal.


All parents/guardians should be screening their children each morning for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to school. If anyone in the household is showing symptoms, all children should stay at home, and this should be reported to the COVID-19 Response Team.


Any child who experiences a fever must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning to school.


WCPS is following all health and wellness precautions in the interest of keeping our schools open, safe, and healthy.

Opening Week of Stage 4

Thank you for making the reopening of our schools a success!