Charles Co. schools offering online classes to more grades this fall

Charles County Public Schools in Maryland will allow more students to start the 2021-2022 school year with online-only classes.

But with the first day of school fast approaching on Aug. 30, there is only a short window of time left to apply.

Eligible high school students were already able to apply to take part in virtual classes this fall. Now, students entering kindergarten through eighth grade are getting that chance.

“We want to provide families with an option if they have concerns about their child returning to school in person,” said Superintendent Maria Navarro. “CCPS educators, including myself, believe students learn best at school, in the classroom and face-to-face with teachers.”

Parents of incoming kindergarten through eighth grade students have to apply for the program, and priority consideration will be given to kids with good grades and 15 or fewer absences last school year.

Only 50 students per grade will be accepted, so a lottery system will be used to decide which children who meet the program criteria actually get in. Accepted students must stay in the program for the entire semester.

The students will be taught by Proximity Learning teachers using a platform called Canvas. Classes will be on Zoom.

Virtual elementary students will not receive instruction in music, band, chorus or orchestra. A responsible adult will need to be at home with students who are in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The school system said no gifted or enrichment courses will be offered. Assessment will need to be done in-person.

Parents can apply online starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17. The application will appear at this link at that time. The application period will last one week, until 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24.

Families of students who are accepted into the program will be notified by Aug. 27.

The virtual learning program will be re-evaluated in January for the second semester.

Parents of children with documented medical issues should contact the school system’s Office of Home and Hospital Instruction at 301-932-6610 to discuss their learning options.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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