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Planning for the 2020-2021 School Year


Because of the uncertainties surrounding the start of the 2020-2021 school year due to the unknown status of COVID-19, HCPSS is leading a process to detail multiple solutions to provide for all students’ academic needs and ensure appropriate supports.

The solutions will be guided by the decisions of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and input provided by students, families, staff and stakeholders, and will be progressively refined as the situation evolves.

Board of Education Work Session on Fall Reopening Plan

June 16, 2020 Board of Education Meeting

Fall Planning Presentation

Public Input

Students, parents/guardians and staff were sent surveys to provide structured input and feedback to help guide the solutions for the 2020-2021 school year. Surveys, which are now closed, were available in multiple languages and were widely distributed to collect essential feedback.

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.

State Guidance

The decision to close schools on March 13, 2020, was made by State Superintendent, Dr. Karen Salmon, who will also determine the state of reopening this fall. Though MSDE will determine the number of students and staff who may return, the status of state assessments, the return of athletics and other extracurricular activities, and many other critical decisions, local districts have significant flexibility to implement solutions that work best for our communities.


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