WALDORF, Md. — Due to a current high positive COVID-19 percentage rate for Charles County and high testing demand, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will reopen from winter break on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, for virtual instruction. Students will participate in virtual instruction for the week of Jan. 3 through 7. Any extension to virtual instruction will be shared with staff and families as quickly as possible. Virtual instruction means students will be learning online and not reporting to school buildings the week of Jan. 3-7, 2022.

As of today, any CCPS athletics or extracurricular activities are postponed. This includes any planned or scheduled practices for this week. AlphaBEST is also closed next week.

With the rise in positive COVID-19 county data, Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna Abney directed Superintendent Maria Navarro to cease normal operations in school buildings. As a result, CCPS students will move to virtual instruction for the first week back from winter break. CCPS staff return to work Jan. 3 in person.

The health department and CCPS support a delay to in-person learning for students to provide families with time to test children before they return to school. The delay also provides time for any CCPS staff member to be tested. The health department is recommending testing for those who are symptomatic or have been exposed within 5-7 days to a COVID-19 positive person. Charles County testing facilities have experienced an increase in test demand during the holidays. Read more about health department testing recommendations at https://bit.ly/3qteAm4.

The health department offers free COVID-19 testing. Visit the health department website at https://charlescountyhealth.org for details and locations.

CCPS virtual instruction may include a mix of live lessons and asynchronous work – work that is not live or recorded but posted to class websites in StudentVUE. Teachers may schedule Zoom classes through the calendar or class schedule menu areas in StudentVUE. Teachers will share virtual instruction updates with students and parents through ParentVUE and StudentVUE. Principals will also share updates by email with families.

Students will need an electronic learning device and internet access for live instruction. Learning devices must also have the Zoom program downloaded for the best learning experience. Directions on how to download Zoom are attached to this email. Parents with children who do not have internet access at home should call their child’s school.

If your child did not bring home a learning device prior to winter break, staff will be available at schools to assist with the pick-up of devices. Please call your child’s school after Jan. 3 for assistance.

CCPS is offering technology support for families as well as a Spanish hotline. The technology support hotline launches Jan. 3 and is available by calling 301-932-6655. This is recommended for families/students with Zoom and StudentVUE issues.

If your child’s laptop is broken or will not turn on, please drop off the device at their school to be fixed and obtain a temporary loaner laptop. Families can also submit an AskCCPS ticket at www2.ccboe.com/askccps for help.

The Spanish hotline is available at 240-523-3032. Callers may have to leave a message and should leave a call-back number.

Free curb-side bagged meals for students will be available Jan. 3-7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the following locations: Henry E. Lackey, Maurice J. McDonough, St. Charles and Westlake high schools, Benjamin Stoddert, Mattawoman and Milton M. Somers middle schools, and Dr. Thomas L. Higdon, Indian Head, J.C. Parks, J.P. Ryon, Arthur Middleton, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd and Malcolm elementary schools.

Meals will include a cold breakfast and lunch. Anyone picking up a meal for a child must show the child’s student identification number from ParentVUE or StudentVUE.

CCPS is also aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently updated its quarantine recommendations. CCPS follows quarantine guidelines outlined by the state and local health departments. CCPS has updated quarantine protocols for students who are exposed outside of school as well as staff. Updates are posted at https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/covid-19-resources. Protocols for student-to-student exposure at school remain unchanged. 

Please continue to report any student or staff positive COVID-19 result to the school system using the electronic reporting form. To access the form, click here.  CCPS reviews all reported data and makes any necessary quarantine decisions with the health department for classes, grade levels, schools or the system as a whole. The timely reporting of positive cases among students and staff assists CCPS in making decisions using real-time data.

CCPS strongly encourages staff and student participation in the free weekly COVID-19 screening program. Participants are tested weekly, and results are made available within 24-48 hours. Only positive results are shared with CCPS for contact tracing purposes. A one-time registration is required. Visit https://schooltesting.2020gene.com/login to register.

CCPS has a COVID-19 data dashboard on its website featuring real-time student and staff positive data. Visit https://www.ccboe.com/index.php/covid-19-dashboard to view the data.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).