GCPS 2020-2021 School Year

Reopening Updates
GCPS 2020-2021 School Year Reopening Updates
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
Phone 301.334.8900

Reopening Information

Return to School Expectations Spring 2021 - February 3, 2021


GCPS Recovery & Reopening Plan - August 03, 2020


Garrett County Schools Will Return to In-Person Learning

Feb 3, 2021 at 8:43 am
The Board of Education voted to accept the Superintendent’s recommendation on the following plan for a return to in-person learning at their special meeting on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

Virtual Learning to Continue in Garrett County Public Schools

Jan 13, 2021 at 7:43 am
The Board of Education voted at its regular meeting last night to accept the Superintendent’s recommendation to remain in the “red model” in which students are learning virtually. Students will begin transitioning back to in-person learning when the Garrett County metrics are at 5% or less positivity rate and 15 or less per 100,000 for 14 consecutive days. The metrics are based on guidelines from the MSDE and the Maryland Department of Health. School system employees will have the option to return to the buildings beginning January 19, 2021.

Virtual Learning Through January 26, 2021

Dec 9, 2020 at 3:18 pm
The Garrett County Board of Education voted at the December 8, 2020, meeting to have all GCPS students remain in a fully-virtual learning format through the end of the first semester, January 26, 2021. There will be no sports and extra-curricular activities during this time. The school board will further discuss the return to school plans, the availability of adequate staffing, and county health metrics at the January 12, 2021, meeting. The Board will provide further guidance at that time.

Garrett County Board of Education Votes to Pause In-Person Learning and Move Students to Virtual Learning

Nov 11, 2020 at 8:59 am
The Garrett County Board of Education voted last evening, November 10, 2020, to move students to a red, fully virtual learning model beginning Thursday, November 12, 2020, and continuing until at least Thursday, December 10, 2020. GCPS is also cancelling all in-person extra-curricular activities and athletic events and practices effective immediately.

GCPS Reopening Plan Update

Oct 20, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Superintendent Barbara Baker updated the Board of Education on a number of points related to the Garrett County Public Schools’ Reopening Plan at its regular meeting on October 13. Students, parents, and families should note the following: Students in grades 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 successfully returned to in-person learning on Monday, October 12. These students are attending, for the most part, in the hybrid model of M-T OR Th-F.

GCPS Update to Elementary School Practices

Oct 12, 2020 at 10:59 am
Beginning today, Garrett County Public Schools will bring additional students into buildings for in-person learning. Please read the following updates and reminders for elementary parents regarding the safety precautions being utilized. Please know that Garrett County Public Schools continues to prioritize the safety of our students and staff throughout this process.

GCPS Outlines Process in the Event of a Positive COVID-19 Test

Oct 5, 2020 at 3:22 pm
The number of overall cases of COVID-19 in Garrett County, for the most part, has remained low. As we work toward bringing all students back to in-person learning, the school system continues to revise our response guidelines. The Garrett County Public School system understands the important role our response plays in keeping our community safe.

Elementary Instruction Update

Oct 5, 2020 at 8:30 am
As we continue planning to bring additional students into the buildings for in-person instruction, we are reflecting and evaluating our instructional processes to best meet the needs of students and families. Based on the experiences during the first two phases, we will be making some adjustments beginning October 12th.

Screening Tool for Parents Sending Children to School for In-Person Learning

Oct 2, 2020 at 3:32 pm
Garrett County Public Schools continues to move forward with returning students to in-person learning. The plan is contingent on being able to return students safely. We are asking that parents work with us to help mitigate the risk to our students and staff to the greatest extent possible. To assist parents and guardians, GCPS is providing reference documents to be used by parents for their children during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Garrett County Schools' Return to Play Plan

Oct 2, 2020 at 3:27 pm
On Tuesday, September 29, the Garrett County Board of Education voted unanimously to accept Superintendent Baker’s recommendation to approve the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) plan to begin high school sports on October 7.


Communication with Parents and Families of Garrett County Public Schools

Sept 29, 2020 at 10:16 am
As we continue to transition students back to in-person learning, it is important to keep the lines of communication open for all parents and families. We realize that changes to the reopening plan can be frustrating and there are questions that arise daily. Please consult the list below and do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.

Important: Yellow "Hybrid" Reopening Model Clarification

Sept 29, 2020 at 8:10 am
This week, Garrett County Public Schools welcomes Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade students back to school buildings for face-to-face instruction on an A day/B day hybrid model.

GCPS Provides Adjustments and Clarification on Reopening Plans

Sept 22, 2020 at 10:17 am
The reopening plan continues to go through revisions as we work with stakeholders and the Garrett County Health Department to ensure we are mitigating the risk to the greatest extent possible. Important – This plan has been amended. Please read carefully.

Technical Help for Virtual Learning is Available

Sept 14, 2020 at 7:27 am
Last week, GCPS students returned to learning through a series of orientations at each school. We started slowly with lessons that students completed virtually. Starting Monday, September 14, all teachers will be providing instruction virtually.

Update on the Schoology Learning Management System

Aug 31, 2020 at 8:14 am
As the Garrett County Public School system prepares for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we would like to provide the following guidance on our new learning management system called Schoology. This new platform is an integral part of our reopening plan. The majority of our students will begin the year learning virtually.

GCPS Superintendent Barbara Baker and GCHD Health Officer Bob Stephens Release Joint Letter to Community

Aug 30, 2020 at 8:12PM
Dear GCPS Families,
We are writing to provide you with more information specific to the reopening of Garrett County Public Schools’ facilities in light of the announcements made late Thursday afternoon by Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon and Acting Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Dr. Jinlene Chan.

GCPS Announces the Process for At-Home Hot Spots

Aug 13, 2020 at 4:23Pm
GCPS has been awarded a grant from the Maryland State Office of Rural Broadband to provide hot spots for at-home, virtual learning. Please apply for a hot spot if you currently do not have internet access, or if you feel your internet access is not sufficient for virtual learning. The applications will be used to prioritize distribution, as we will not be provided enough for every individual household.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page Updated Daily

Aug 6, 2020 at 8:25am
In an effort to keep parents and students as up-to-date as possible during this time of uncertainty, Garrett County Public Schools has developed a process to update our FAQ page every day. As we all prepare for school to start on September 8, 2020, many questions have been raised.

GCPS Continues to Prepare for the Virtual Opening of the 2020-2021 School Year - Schoology Professional Development

Aug 4, 2020 at 4:00pm
Garrett County Public Schools adopted Schoology as its learning management system prior to the end of the school year in June, 2020. Schoology was selected by a committee of teachers after reviewing several learning management systems. Teachers at each school were then selected to participate in virtual webinar training with Schoology professionals.

GCPS Recovery and Reopening Plan Released

Aug 3, 2020 at 7:50am
Garrett County Public Schools is pleased to release the GCPS Recovery and Reopening Plan. This plan outlines procedures for learning when school begins on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The plan was developed in conjunction with each GCPS department with input from the central office and school-based administrators, teachers, staff members, parents, and students. It is a comprehensive plan that serves to answer a number of questions and provide guidance for families.

A Letter to GCPS Parents/Guardians from Superintendent Barbara Baker

Jul 30, 2020 at 4:15pm
Garrett County Public Schools will open for the first nine weeks in a red phase, consisting of virtual instruction in which students will engage in learning from home via the Schoology learning management system.
The goal, as detailed in the chart below, is to transition to a "yellow" hybrid phase after the first nine weeks of school. The hybrid model offers in-school learning at a reduced capacity with virtual learning opportunities for students when they are not scheduled to be present in the school building. Virtual instruction will continue to be offered to all families who do not feel comfortable returning their child(ren) to school in-person in the hybrid model. Families will have the opportunity to transfer from one option to the other at the end of each grading period.

Garrett County Public Schools Will Begin the 2020-2021 School Year Virtually

Jul 30, 2020 at 11:50am
At its most recent meeting, the Garrett County Board of Education decided that student instruction for the first term of the 2020-21 school year, which begins Tuesday, September 8, will occur in a virtual format for students as our county and state continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the guidance provided by the Maryland State Department of Education, the opening plan is a modified “red model” and allows for both virtual instruction and for in-person instruction for small, special populations of students. Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) defines special populations as students qualifying for special education, 504 students, at-risk students and homeless or displaced students.

GCPS Reopening Message from Barbara Baker, Superintendent of Garrett County Public Schools

Jul 16, 2020 at 6:48pm
Please view the reopening message from Ms. Barbara Baker, Superintendent of Garrett County Public Schools. Click the link below to view her message.
Ms. Baker also would like to remind everyone to please view and read the GCPS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document that was recently released regarding COVID and the reopening of schools. That document can be viewed at

GCPS Addresses COVID-19 As We Return to School for 2020-2021

Jul 16, 2020 at 3:50pm
Garrett County Public Schools recognizes that schools provide an essential and irreplaceable role for a community. In addition to providing academic learning for students, schools provide social and emotional learning through interaction with children and adults; nutrition through free and reduced cost breakfast and lunch; connection to community resources through school social workers; counseling services through school psychologists and professional school counselors; and athletic and extracurricular activities.... Continue Reading

Garrett County Public Schools Update on Reopening Plan

Jul 8, 2020 at 9:13pm
Ms. Barbara Baker, Superintendent of Schools, discusses the Garrett County Public Schools update on reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year. Click the link below for the Superintendent's message.