At the Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening, Superintendent Barbara Baker and Chief Academic Officer Nicole Miller presented an Inclement Weather Plan for virtual learning in lieu of a snow day. The plan is contingent on the approval of State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury. However, the key components of this plan as required by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) include:
- A minimum of four (4) hours of synchronous instruction for all students
- Attendance protocols and requirements for all students and teachers
- Opportunities for students to make up missed work on Virtual Learning Days
- Posting of the Virtual Inclement Weather Day Plan on the district website
All Garrett County Public Schools students and staff have GCPS issued devices for educational purposes. These devices will be used at home for virtual learning days. For any student or staff member without Internet access, or with inadequate Internet access, hotspots will be provided. If a student’s home is located where there is no Internet access, and a hotspot will not work, an alternative paper option will be provided for them. These instances will be identified by school administration. It is important to note that all special education services will continue as outlined in the student’s Individualized Educational Plan. Students will need to be present for synchronous instruction to be counted as present. However, students who are absent for instruction will be excused and will be required to follow the GCPS make-up work policy.
At the secondary level (middle and high schools), students will be surveyed as to home Internet capabilities. For the elementary level, each school will survey their families. Hotspots will only be made available to students with a virtual accessibility need, with a limit of one (1) per household.
GCPS will inform schools and the communities with as much notice as possible the day before a virtual learning day is to be implemented via all current media outlets. The announcement will indicate that GCPS will be moving to a Virtual Learning Day. Schools will communicate the plan, including any school specific details, with school staff, students and parents. Anyone experiencing technical difficulties on a virtual learning day may call the IT Helpdesk at 1-888-285-7254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
This plan is subject to approval by the MSDE and will not be implemented until such approval is received. GCPS continues to work with our employee groups on these protocols. It is also important to note that GCPS will still have traditional “snow days,” delayed openings, and early dismissals when virtual learning days are not possible.
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