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Weekly Superintendent's Message July 9th

Weekly Superintendent's Message

Hello, families and staff of Wicomico County Public Schools. This is Donna Hanlin, Superintendent of Schools, with an important July update. This email is a condensed version of an important message that is included here as a July Update on School Plans . The full message is also posted on our website at www.wcboe.org. Please read the detailed message in its entirety in preparation for surveys through which school families and staff will give us crucial feedback on return to school in the fall. 

We have been very busy this summer preparing for a new school year, stocking up on personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, putting in place health screening procedures, upgrading air quality equipment in our buildings, and purchasing and preparing laptops for 1:1 student use. We have continued to provide meal bundles for children three days a week, and have provided summer learning opportunities for coursework recovery as well as ways for students to stay engaged at all grade levels. We have also been actively planning in stakeholder teams of staff, parents, and community members for the day that we can return to school buildings.

Families will soon receive an email with a link to New School Year Registration. It is extremely important that you complete this registration as soon as possible for each student in your family. School-based staff members will receive a link to take a Back-to-School Survey.

For the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we must be prepared for three possible models for instruction:

  • Green Model: Traditional Learning, where all students are in school every day.
  • Red Model: Distance Learning, where all students are learning remotely every day.
  • Yellow Model: Hybrid Learning, with both in-school instruction and at-home learning, or a virtual program for students not returning to a school building.

The Green or Red models would apply across the board to all students. In the New School Year Registration, we will ask for feedback on the hybrid Yellow Model. Students would be in school buildings some days while completing assignments at home on other days, to meet CDC and state health guidelines for physical distancing. Options being considered involve a student being at school 2-3 days each week OR in school most days every other week. We want to know what would work for most families before making a final decision, and whether you would have your student transported by school bus if eligible.

We understand that families may be unsure about their student returning to a school building. Therefore, we are collaborating with other school systems on the Eastern Shore to develop and implement virtual school programming for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12.  We are excited about the possibility of offering this fully online virtual program for families wishing to commit to this option for at least the first semester. We will need to know, through the registration form, if this is the option you would choose for your child.

Thank you for taking the time to promptly respond to the New School Year Registration separately for each student in your household, or for school-based staff members, to the Back-to-School Survey.

With the ever-evolving status of health conditions and related guidance, all plans are subject to change. Therefore, you will continue to receive updates from me and your school throughout the summer. In the meanwhile, please refer to our website for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and responses concerning our fall planning.

Stay safe and enjoy the summer.