Impact and Cancellations

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March 25, 2020 (Via Robocall & Video Message)

Good evening, Worcester families,
 

This is your Superintendent of Schools Lou Taylor. As you have likely heard, our Governor and State Superintendent of Schools have extended the closure of our schools through April 24, to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease.  

 

We know that this news is disappointing to our students, staff and faculty who have been anxious to get back to the normalcy of everyday life, but we wholeheartedly agree that keeping our students, staff, and the families of Worcester County safe and healthy must be the priority at this time.  While we all take time to adjust to what will be a “new normal” for the next four weeks, I want to reassure you that our school system leaders have been hard at work to prepare in the case of a continued closure, and I would like to share some of those plans with you today. 

 

First, I am happy to assure you that our feeding sites will continue without disruption, and our school counseling remote services will expand throughout the next phase of this closure. I hope you will join me in thanking those food service workers and school counselors whose hard work have made these services so successful in meeting our students’ needs. 

 

And of course, I want to address what student learning will look like over the next few weeks. Throughout the past two weeks, we have developed plans in the event that an announcement like today’s occurred. That being said, our school system plans to shift from enrichment and extension activities to a more structured learning program using our online learning management system, Schoology 

 

Dependent upon a modification to our current school year calendar by the Board of Education, we anticipate students beginning online learning in the following phases: dual enrollment and advanced placement students will begin those classes on Monday, March 30; high school students will begin on Wednesday, April 1, and both elementary and middle school students will begin on Monday, April 6.  

 

Additionally, we want you to know that we also have plans to address the inequities in our county related to access to digital devices and internet connectivity. Your child’s school principal will be communicating with you soon about this, and we are asking our high school students who may have left their laptops at school to call the school main office to make arrangements to retrieve it. 

 

In the meantime, please know that even though our school buildings remain closed at this time, each and every one of you are in our hearts and minds. That fact is very clear to me when I see our teachers, our principals, coordinators and so many others reaching out through RemindClassDojo, or even through social media to show our students how much they are loved and missed.   

 

We are truly a family here in Worcester County, and this crisis has only made our connections more meaningful. So as we move forward today, know that we are thankful for your patience and understanding as we all embark on this journey of digital learning together.  

 

And I’ll close with the same sentiment I have shared before: take care of yourself and each other, and we look forward to seeing you in late April. 

Sincerely,
Louis H. Taylor
Superintendent of Schools





 
March 20, 2020 (Via Robocall & Video Message)

Good evening, Worcester County Public Schools’ family,

This is your Superintendent Lou Taylor. As we come to the end of this first week of our mandated closure, I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to our incredible community for your continued support throughout this health crisis.  

I have seen such incredible acts of heroism from the far reaches of our county throughout this time: from our Board of Education, the County Commissioners, the County Health Department, and other government partners sharing their resources to local restaurants, businesses and organizations supporting our efforts to feed our students to our instructional staff and educators sharing resources and learning tools to help our families. It is during times of crisis that we see the true character of people, and I am honored and humbled by the incredible character I have seen from the people of Worcester County.  

Now, as we move forward into the second week of this closure, I know many questions have been brewing in our community. While many unknowns still surround how this health crisis will ultimately impact our schools, I want to assure you that we are working on contingency plans to ensure we have continuity of learning should this closure extend past next week. 

Additionally, many of our families have expressed their worry about those important rites of passage that are part of a child’s educational experience outside of learning. We want to reassure you that we have every intention of celebrating our students; we may not know what those celebrations may look like, but please know that we will not let these moments of life just pass by.  

We want to encourage you all to take to heart the recommendations for your own personal health and safety. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines and disease prevention practices. We will be sharing through our social media some graphics to help remind you of these important practices over the next week. 

We also know that these times can be scary for our young people; we want you to know that it is normal to experience feelings of stress, anger or fear at this time. If you need support for your child’s social-emotional needs, our school counselors are available. Please visit our website, www.worcesterk12.org to learn more about this important resource. 

Lastly, I want to extend my thanks again for your continued support and partnership as we weather this crisis. We will make it through this, together. Take care of yourself and each other, and God bless you all. 

Sincerely,
Louis H. Taylor
Superintendent of Schools







 

March 12, 2020

To Our Worcester County Public Schools family,


Earlier this evening, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon joined Governor Larry Hogan for a press conference to update our state on the latest developments with coronavirus disease. During this press conference, he announced that Maryland has had its first case of community transmission of the coronavirus, indicating that this health crisis has moved into a new phase. 

In light of this information, Dr. Salmon announced that all public schools in Maryland – including Worcester County Public Schools – are mandated to be closed beginning Monday, March 16 and lasting through Friday, March 27. As both the Governor and Dr. Salmon said today, we know this closure will be an inconvenience for our families, but a necessary step to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Tomorrow, students should report to school for the early dismissal day as normal. Upon leaving, each child will be provided with educational activities that can be completed at home to support student learning; however, we want to stress to you that students’ completion of these activities has no bearing on their grades, but can help with retention of what they have learned.

Again, we thank you for your continued partnership during this time, and please explore our resources here on our website for more information about coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Sincerely,
Louis H. Taylor
Superintendent of Schools


View the MSDE press release from today's announcement


CANCELLATION & RESCHEDULING
ANNOUNCEMENTS

UPDATED: All schools are mandated to be closed beginning
Monday, March 16, 2020, through Friday, April 24, 2020. 

  1. The College Board will send out information to register test-takers, but scheduled administrations of the SAT in March, April and May have been cancelled. 
  2. The SAT Day scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, will be rescheduled at the discretion of The College Board. We will communicate information, including the new date, as it is made available.
  3. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten registration will be rescheduled for dates yet to be determined.
  4. The Worcester County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Gala scheduled for Friday, March 27, 2020 has been cancelled. Current ticket holders will receive information via email regarding the refund process.