2019-2020 School Year Update

April 21, 2020

In this update you will find information about:

  • School calendar

  • Distance learning

  • School counselor support

  • Student grading

  • Graduation requirements

  • Graduation ceremonies

  • Prom

  • Pre-k and kindergarten registration

  • Reminders

School Calendar

Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) submitted a request for the state superintendent of schools to waive five (5) student days from the required 180-day school year. That request has been approved.


Currently, the last day of school for students is Wednesday, June 10.


This date applies whether students are back in school or distance learning is ongoing.

Distance Learning

The need for students to actively engage in enriching, meaningful learning experiences is important to their future success in education. Researchers are already speculating that the learning loss from these school closures could be significant and long lasting. WCPS teachers will continue to guide instruction, and we hope parents can support daily learning at home.


We recognize families are in the midst of unexpected circumstances. We believe it is also important to support the social-emotional needs of students and be flexible with how and when they learn.


If you have any questions about distance learning, please contact the school principal. Remember to visit the Distance Learning @ WCPS website to find helpful resources that will assist parents and students in making the most of the online learning experience.


While principals continue to work in schools, all WCPS schools and facilities remain closed to the public until further notice. Families may go to schools with meal sites or to pick-up and return learning packets. If visitors need to come to the school for any other reason, they should contact the school principal.

School Counselor Support

The transition from learning in a school setting with teachers and peers to an online learning environment is not easy for all students. School counselors are available to connect with students online or on the phone. Counselors have provided their contact information to families, but parents can also reach out to principals if they need to get in touch with a counselor.

Student Grading

As we continue with the implementation of the Distance Learning Plan, teachers will be grading student work. You will soon be able to see your child’s grades on ParentVUE and StudentVUE if you have not already. Please know those grades will be used to calculate fourth marking period grades.


WCPS staff are pleased that your child is participating in distance learning either through online class(es), downloading and uploading assignments, or completing the assignments provided in paper packets. We are focused on being fair to students and encouraging their participation and learning. Due to the ever-changing circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic, if there are any changes with the grading process, families will be notified.


WCPS wants to give students every opportunity to make up and complete work before assigning a final grade. More information about this topic will be provided at a later date.

Graduation Requirements

The State develops and implements standards and policy for local school systems across Maryland, including graduation requirements. At their most recent public meeting, the State Board of Education approved several waivers pertaining to graduation requirements:


  • 2020 graduates are not required to participate in or pass the state-required testing (high school assessments) for Algebra I, English 10, and American Government. Seniors do not need to complete Bridge projects to meet requirements.

  • 2020 graduates do not need to participate in the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment (MISA).

  • 2020 graduates who have not met the required Student Service Learning (SSL) hours will be allowed to graduate.

  • 2020 graduates participating in Career and Technology Education completers are not required to complete supervised work-based learning experiences and industry-mentored projects in order to graduate.


If you have any questions about these waivers or any graduation requirements, contact the school principal.

Graduation Ceremonies

WCPS is incredibly proud of the Class of 2020, not only for the achievements they have made over the years, but for the resiliency they have shown through this school closure. Although we would prefer to have live graduations, it appears unlikely such large gatherings will be possible. For now, we are still preparing for both live and virtual graduation ceremonies.


Our seniors deserve the best to celebrate their success, and we are prepared to do so under the circumstances.


Currently, the last day of school for seniors is Thursday, May 28.


If graduations occur as an online celebration, they will be held the week of June 1.

Prom

WCPS regrets to announce that all high school proms, including those scheduled after May 15, are cancelled.


This was a difficult decision to make, as we recognize the significance this high school tradition holds for our students, their families, and even our staff.


Students who have already purchased prom tickets will receive a refund. More information about refunds will be sent by individual high schools.

Pre-k and Kindergarten Registration

Pre-k:

For students who will be four years old by September 1, 2020, parents can print the pre-k application and fax or mail the completed form to the fax number or address listed on the application. Families can also make arrangements to pick up a hard copy of the application by calling any elementary school. If this is not possible, WCPS will work closely with families to ensure schools have the necessary information for students to enroll for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. When the application is received and processed, families will receive an enrollment packet in the mail. When complete, please call the school as school staff are prepared to work with parents through a virtual enrollment process.

Kindergarten:

For students who will be five years old by September 1, 2020, parents can begin the process to have their child enrolled in kindergarten. Parents should contact the school where their child will attend and request the enrollment forms. When the forms are completed, parents should contact the school and be prepared to provide other necessary forms. To follow updates on the enrollment process, please visit the Kindergarten Enrollment page.


If you’re unsure which school your child will attend, contact any school principal or enter your address in the WCPS School Locator.

Reminders

Schools are closed through May 15, 2020. During the closure, all school concerts, field trips, and athletic events are cancelled.

Nineteen meal sites continue to operate across Washington County on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to provide breakfast, lunch, and a snack to any child 18 and under who is present at the site.

Look for WiFi Zone signs at WCPS school campuses to connect to the internet. If users are not in vehicles, they must maintain social distancing. Other local internet providers are also opening WiFi hotspots to the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Third marking period report cards were mailed from the Center for Education Services on Friday, April 17 to families. They are also available on ParentVUE and StudentVUE.


April 28 is now a student learning day. This was previously primary election day, which has been postponed.

Questions?

If you have questions while schools are closed, please contact the school principal or your child’s teacher. It is recommended to reach principals by email during this time.


General questions about WCPS’ response to the COVID-19 closure can be directed to COVID-19@wcps.k12.md.us.