More students in Charles, Montgomery counties head back to class

Charles County Public Schools in Maryland will head into Phase 4 of its COVID-19 reopening plan on Monday morning, with 5,800 students from prekindergarten through 12th grade returning to classrooms.

Returning students will take part in in-person learning on a rotating schedule for two days a week, according to a news release issued by the school system Wednesday. Any student eligible to return under Phase 3 “now falls under the Phase 4 schedule” if they return for in-person learning.

Students with last names starting with A through K will attend school in-person on Monday and Tuesday, and attend class virtually on Thursday and Friday; L through Z will attend school in-person on Thursday and Friday and attend class virtually on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesdays are considered “asynchronous” learning days for all students.

Any students attending in-person classes under Phase 2 will continue their instruction at their home schools or centers four days per week. Wednesdays are also asynchronous for the remainder of the school year.

Charles County schools may need to adjust schedules in order to accommodate for the in-person transition, including for arrival and a review of safety protocols.

“Class schedules for students on Monday, April 19, and Thursday, April 22, may be adjusted. Classes for virtual students may begin up to two hours late on April 19 and April 22. Any schedule changes for students next week will be sent directly to parents from teachers and/or school principals,” the news release said.

The release shared information on how parents can locate their child’s bus information online. Bus information may have changed for students from Phase 2, so the release recommends such parents double check their child’s bus information online, too.

CCPS buses will practice social distancing and sit one student per seat, with the exception of some routes. Students will be required to wear face masks on busses.

Parents with bus stop concerns or who need to change their child’s pickup or drop-off locations can complete a bus change request. Transportation for students with special needs has not changed.

Other important information for parents:

  • School hours are the same.
  • Students must wear a mask the entire day, with the exception of eating meals.
  • Parents should fill out the health screening every morning before school.
  • Parents have 60 minutes to pick up their sick child from school.
  • Students who show two or more COVID-19 symptoms will be sent to the nurse.
  • All meals will remain free for all students throughout the school year.
  • Students should bring their technology to school daily.

Montgomery County

In Montgomery County, the last group of students to go back is actually two groups. The school board voted to combine the last two groups to speed things up a bit.

Students in seventh through 11th grades go back to classrooms on Monday. High school seniors in Montgomery County already returned.

One group is in-person for four days, while Wednesday stays virtual. The other group is in-person for four days the next week with Wednesday virtual; weeks rotate with off-weeks being all virtual.

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Hannah Parker

Hannah Parker is a writer and editor for WTOP. She is most interested in covering social issues in the D.C. area and is always looking for news tips and story ideas.

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal levels for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

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