Coronavirus Preparations

Updates as of March 12, 2020

The following details and announcements are based on current information from health organizations and community partners. Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) will provide updates as appropriate.

WCPS is expecting information from Governor Larry Hogan regarding "a major announcement to protect public health and prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic." He is scheduled to address the public at 4:00 this afternoon.

Out of State Travel and Overnight Events Cancelled

WCPS is cancelling all out-of-state travel for students and staff for the foreseeable future. This includes field trips, athletic events, professional development conferences and seminars, and all extra-curricular activities outside of Maryland. Schools will not be scheduling new field trips or travel plans.

Please note that all in-state travel is being monitored and reviewed on a regular basis, and arrangements are subject to change. The scope of events and the intended participants will be considered when making those decisions.

In addition, overnight events are cancelled. Plans for students to participate in the Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School at Fairview are being reviewed. Any international travel has been cancelled.

If you have questions about these cancellations, please contact your child’s school.

In the Event of a Closure...

WCPS will follow the direction and guidance of the Washington County Health Department, the Maryland Department of Health, the Maryland State Department of Education, and/or the Office of the Governor regarding any closures of individual or system-wide schools. The health and safety of the community and our students is our top priority in addressing this global health challenge.

Continued Learning Plans:

Curriculum and Instruction staff are reviewing and adjusting plans for learning opportunities in the event of a long-term closure. WCPS is preparing to provide material for enriching and engaging learning experiences online, on student devices, and in more traditional forms.

WCPS recognizes families play an essential role in supporting the achievements of students, and we encourage family members to participate in learning opportunities all year-round, regardless of the circumstances.

Staff and Our Schools:

How WCPS staff would respond in the event of a closure will largely depend upon direction from health agencies, the schools involved, and the specific circumstances behind the closure. It is possible staff could be asked to report to their schools, report to an alternate location, or stay home. Staff may be asked to report when students are asked to stay home. Any directives will be communicated in coordination with notifying staff of a closure.

Continued Proactive Measures

  • Handwashing is a priority. Students and staff are given additional time as needed to wash their hands throughout the day, especially at the start of school and before lunch. Custodial staff is frequently checking soap and hand sanitizer dispensers for refills.

  • School staff are modeling and encouraging healthy habits, such as coughing and sneezing into the crook of the elbow.

  • Custodians are sanitizing and disinfecting frequent touchpoints and hard surfaces throughout and beyond the school day. The cleaning products used in our schools are listed as products that are suitable for fighting COVID-19.

  • If your child is sick and has a fever and/or other flu-like symptoms, keep your child home and contact your primary care physician.

Community Resources

Local governments, healthcare providers, community health agencies, and first responders are working together to plan, respond, and communicate with the community about developments with COVID-19.

For more information on the Coronavirus, visit the Washington County Health Department’s website at:

If you have questions about COVID-19: