HCPS Special Announcement

April 1, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Published Recommended Learning Experiences:


Q: Are the Recommended Learning Experiences required for all students?

A: No, students are not required to complete the Recommended Learning Experiences. However, during this time of extended school closure, the Recommended Learning Experiences are intended to provide HCPS students the opportunity to continue their learning in order to meet grade band and content standards.


Teachers will use the completed Recommended Learning Experiences, existing assignments from third quarter, or other teacher-generated assignments. Individual teachers and parents/guardians have the flexibility to adjust the learning experiences to best meet student needs.


Parents/guardians may alter the work for their children based on the suggested accommodations and modifications contained in the Recommended Learning Experiences, as well as find other types of learning that address the Essential Questions/Enduring Understandings included in the materials. These other learning experiences can be included in the completion grade for students.


Q. How will completed work be collected?

A: Due to health and safety concerns during this time, paper copies of completed work cannot be accepted. Completed work may be uploaded to a digital site created by a teacher or submitted to a teacher via email. If parents/guardians are unable to send an electronic copy of their child’s work, teachers will accept a verbal confirmation of completion of work by their student.


Technology:


Q: What technology is needed for students to complete the Recommended Learning Experiences?

A: While there are Internet resources included within the Recommended Learning Experiences, they are written so that students can complete the experiences without a device or Internet. All learning experiences can be completed with school supplies that already exist within the home. Parents/guardians and students are not expected to purchase any supplies to complete any assignment.


Q: Can families ‘check out’ devices from HCPS? How is HCPS addressing families without devices?

A: Not at this time. HCPS understands Internet and computer access is a concern for some families. We are compiling data from our initial survey sent to our community regarding access to devices and Internet, as well as from the calls our teachers made to homes earlier this week. We are preparing electronics for some students. We will continue to provide more information as it becomes available.


Grading:


Q: What if my student does not/cannot submit any work during this time period?

A: HCPS understands that some parents/guardians may be caring for family members and/or working as essential staff in the community. HCPS also understands that students may not be able to complete work during this time period for a variety of reasons. The intention of the Recommended Learning Experiences is not to create additional stress for families but to allow for continued student learning; therefore, students who are unable to submit any work during this time period will earn the third quarter grade(s) they had as of March 13.


Q: When will students be able to see their projected grades for third quarter?

A: Projected third quarter grades will be posted on the Home Access Center, accessible from www.hcps.org, on Friday, April 3.


Q: What opportunity do students have to improve their grades after seeing the projections on April 3?

A: Students who are not satisfied with their projected grade(s) may work directly with their teachers on acceptable ways to improve their grades during the third quarter extension. It is expected that teachers are flexible and deliberate in helping students to earn a fair grade based on the work of each student. Students should be given additional opportunities for completion of missing work or alternative work, such as the completion of the Recommended Learning Experiences.


Q: Are there ‘weights’ to any of the Recommended Learning Experiences assignments?

A: No, there are no weights associated with the Recommended Learning Experiences. Teachers maintain discretion regarding the impact that completed student work has on the overall quarter grade.


Q: Will the third quarter/second semester be extended?

A: Yes, the schedule for third quarter is as follows:


  • April 3: Teachers required to update grades.
  • April 9: Third quarter is extended by two weeks.
  • April 14: Fourth quarter begins.
  • April 24: Final grades posted to TAC/HAC.


Procedures for fourth quarter are still under consideration at the state level and will be communicated to teachers as soon as possible.


Q: Will students receive credit for courses from third and fourth quarters?

A: Yes, students will receive credit for courses for the remainder of the third quarter and the fourth quarter. Procedures for fourth quarter are still under consideration at the state level and will be communicated to teachers as soon as possible.


Q: How will students receive credit for non-academic areas such as master tutor, electives, etc.?

A: Students will receive credit in the same manner as if schools were in session.


Support:


Q: How can my child receive help on the Recommended Learning Experiences?

A: To whatever extent possible, teachers will try to assist their students as needed. The learning resources are not designed for interactive learning between a teacher and student. Teachers will continue to reach out and attempt to make contact individually with students and parents/guardians to give every opportunity of ensuring grades are the best and most generous possible.


Fourth Quarter:


Q: What will instruction look like for the fourth quarter?

A: Discussions regarding fourth quarter are ongoing, and we are considering many options if the school closure is extended. We will be able to finalize decisions once we receive guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education.


Q: How will families receive information about special fourth quarter events such as dances, graduations, field trips, sports, etc.?

A: HCPS understands how important extra-curricular activities are for students and their families, especially in the senior year of high school. We are currently working on contingency plans as they relate to extra-curriculars, including sports, capstone projects, proms, and other student activities, and will communicate these plans as they become available.


Q: Some seniors were unable to take courses that are a requirement for graduation. Will these seniors still be eligible to graduate and participate in graduation ceremonies?

A: High school counselors are confirming graduation requirements for the senior class. Those students who are at-risk of not graduating or have special circumstances will be contacted directly by a school counselor as each case is individual in nature.


Please note: The COVID-19 page on hcps.org will be updated with these questions and responses shortly. Please send any additional questions to your principal.


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