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Students in Quarantine

If students are required to quarantine, HCPSS has ensured there will be opportunities for students to remain engaged in learning and receive instructional supports. Additionally, staff at every school are available to support the social-emotional health and well-being of all students during their period of quarantine.

→ Students have/will be provided with a device for use at home

→ Students will receive up to twice weekly check-ins with their teacher

→ Students will participate in modified virtual instruction in the event of a full-class quarantine

→ Students will be provided with robust instructional resources (printed packets in elementary school; via Canvas in middle and high school)

It is important that students take advantage of these opportunities so they are able to return from quarantine and easily transition back to in-person instruction.

Jump to: What is Quarantine | Who Should Quarantine | How Long to Quarantine | Instructional Supports | FAQs | Student Devices | Using Google Meet

What Is Quarantine

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, quarantining separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

During the quarantine period, students may not enter any school building or take part in extracurricular activities.

Who Should Quarantine

A student is identified as having to quarantine if they test positive for COVID-19, or if they are unvaccinated and deemed to be a close contact, as defined by the CDC. A full classroom will quarantine if all students are identified as close contacts, or if there is a confirmed outbreak and the Howard County Health Department has instructed HCPSS to have a full-class quarantine.

Only unvaccinated students and adults who are identified as close contacts must quarantine. Vaccinated students and staff will not be required to quarantine unless they receive a positive test or are displaying symptoms, however they will be expected to monitor their symptoms closely for 14 days. It also is recommended that vaccinated individuals get tested 3-5 days after exposure, regardless of whether they are exhibiting symptoms.

HCPSS Notification Process

If a student is identified as a close contact, the family will be notified by the school nurse, health assistant or designated staff member that the student must begin the quarantine process. If a full classroom must quarantine, an additional email is sent to parents/guardians of the impacted students with additional information on receiving instructional supports during the quarantine period.

How Long To Quarantine

For unvaccinated students and staff members, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend a 14-day quarantine, however, based on local circumstances and resources, the following options to shorten quarantine are acceptable alternatives (this does not apply to children age five and under):

  1. An unvaccinated student or staff member determined to be a close contact with a person with verified COVID-19 may end quarantine after Day 10 without testing as long as the student or staff member has remained symptom-free and continues to monitor for symptoms through the full 14-day period. They must agree to immediately isolate and get tested if symptoms appear within that 14-day period.
  2. An unvaccinated student or staff member determined to be a close contact with a person with verified COVID-19 may end quarantine after Day 7 with a negative COVID-19 PCR test on or after Day 5, if they remain symptom-free and agree to immediately isolate if symptoms appear within that 14-day period.

Unvaccinated or vaccinated students or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate and not return to school until they have been out at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms or positive test without symptoms, remain fever-free for 24 hours, and show a consistent improvement of symptoms.

The Howard County Health Department treats positive cases in the prekindergarten program as it would a daycare setting, closing the affected classrooms for a minimum of 14 days. Additional details on how positive cases of COVID-19 in a prekindergarten classroom are handled can be found online.

Instructional Supports

Any and all students in quarantine will have the opportunity to receive instructional supports during their time at home.

Partial Classroom Supports describes an instance in which at least one, but not all students in any given classroom are in quarantine.

Full Classroom Supports describes an instance in which the Howard County Department of Education determines that a full classroom of students must quarantine OR, at the secondary level, quarantines enough students at large that results in a full classroom becoming quarantined.

Instructional Supports During Quarantine

  Grades PK-5,
Partial Classroom
Grades PK-5,
Full Classroom
Grades 6-12,
Partial Classroom
Grades 6-12,
Full Classroom
Students: Elementary school individual students and/or partial classroom in quarantine Elementary school full classroom in quarantine Middle and high school individual students and/or partial classroom in quarantine Middle and high school full classroom in quarantine
Optional Instructional Supports:
  • Asynchronous work in Canvas
  • Asynchronous packets*
  • Up to twice per week virtual check-ins with the classroom teacher
  • Access to Dreambox, LexiaCore, Typing Agent, and other enterprise digital resources
  • Evening School tutoring
  • Asynchronous work in Canvas
  • Asynchronous packets*
  • Modified virtual instruction for English/Language Arts and Mathematics
  • Access to Dreambox, LexiaCore, Typing Agent, and other enterprise digital resources
  • Evening School tutoring
  • Asynchronous work in Canvas
  • Up to twice per week virtual check-ins with the classroom teacher
  • Evening School tutoring
  • Asynchronous work in Canvas
  • Google Meet virtual instruction for the class in quarantine, during its regularly scheduled time
  • Up to twice per week virtual check-ins with classroom teachers for the remaining courses
  • Evening School tutoring

* Elementary school students in quarantine will be provided with robust asynchronous instructional materials, which will differ from and may be used in addition to packets previously provided to students. The packets sent home earlier this year are an additional resource that may be used immediately after a student is told to quarantine and until they receive a device and robust instructional material packet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about students in quarantine and other topics may be found on the HCPSS Help site.

Student Devices

All students have, or will be provided with an HCPSS-issued Chromebook for use at home. Families are responsible for Chromebook care.

Virtual Expectations and Best Practices

A key to success is collaboration and shared responsibilities among students, educators and families. Learn more →

Care and Responsibilities

Details on Chromebook care, responsibilities, and repair costs; duties and obligations; and online safety are available on the HCPSS Devices page. Learn more →

Using Google Meet

During quarantine, students will have the opportunity to check in with their teacher(s) or receive modified instruction via Google Meet.

Student joining a Google Meet:

  1. Go to to hcpss.me
  2. Select the Google Meet button
  3. Log in with student credentials, if not already logged in
  4. Type in meeting code found in Canvas
  5. Select Join Now