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HCPSS 2020-2021 School Year


The Howard County Board of Education on July 16 approved a fully virtual first semester for the 2020-2021 school year, which begins Tuesday, September 8 and ends on Thursday, January 28, 2021. Staff will finalize and submit the HCPSS plan to the Maryland State Department of Education for approval.

HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano: “Our primary concern must be safeguarding the health of all of our staff and children, and the data and health experts’ guidance do not sanction the safe physical return to schools at this time.”

2020-2021 Planning Documents and Presentations  

Board of Education Work Session, June 16, 2020 (archived video) Board of Education Meeting, July 9, 2020 (archived video)

Board of Education Work Session, July 16, 2020 (archived video)

Board of Education Work Session, August 6, 2020

  • The Board will hold a virtual work session at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the fall reopening plan. Virtual meetings will be streamed live and may viewed on the HCPSS website, or on Comcast channel 95/Verizon 42.

Public Input

Surveys to provide structured input and feedback to help guide solutions for the 2020-2021 school year were open June 16-July 1. Survey results were redacted to remove Personally Identifiable Information. Open responses and any multiple choice items that allowed respondents to enter open-ended comments that have not been redacted are not included.

Presentation of Survey Results

Survey Results

Additional feedback may be provided by emailing Feedback which will be shared with staff and stakeholders working on 2020-2021 school year planning. Due to the volume of emails, not every email will receive a response.

Email Feedback 


We continue to update answers to our most frequently asked questions regarding the 2020-2021 school year.

View FAQs 

Recovery Team

HCPSS convened an internal team of staff to begin developing plans for summer and fall programming. Four sub-committees were formed:

Fall Schedule Committee

Timeline Committee

Engaging Stakeholders Committee.

Financial Considerations

These committees are comprised of staff from the following HCPSS offices:

  • Assessments and Reporting
  • Budget and Finance
  • Communications, Community and Workforce Engagement
  • Cultural Proficiency
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Data Privacy
  • Digital Education
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Health Services
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Leadership Development
  • Operations
  • Safety, Emergency Preparedness & Response
  • School Management and Instructional Leadership
  • Student Services

Recovery Plan Stakeholder Group

HCPSS convened a Recovery Plan Stakeholder group, whose members include parents, students, staff, administrators, and community members, as well as representatives from the health community. This group will review the survey results, emailed feedback and other data to inform and help to refine planning for the fall.

The decision points that HCPSS staff, the Recovery Plan Stakeholder group, and committees are working toward include:

  • The instructional model, whether it will be in-person, distance learning, or a hybrid model combining in-person and distance learning
  • The possibility of a digital school option, and what that will look like and how it will be managed
  • Alignment of curriculum implementation to the instructional model
  • Class and teaching schedules, which will be determined by the instructional model
  • Fall athletics and other extracurricular activities
  • Before- and after-care provided by community groups in HCPSS buildings
  • Transportation considerations when some or all students return to school buildings
  • Food and nutrition plans for the fall