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“Nationals October 2019

School starts tomorrow, AACPS is ready

| September 07, 2020, 06:35 PM

The approximately 85,000 students enrolled in Anne Arundel County Public Schools will kick off the school year virtually on September 8, getting their lessons through the latest in technology as school system administrators work with health officials to reopen buildings and resume in-person learning as soon as possible.

The virtual learning instructional day begins at 8:30 a.m. for students in grades 3 through 12, and 9 a.m. for students in prekindergarten through second grade. Full schedules can be found here.

Commitment to social justice efforts

AACPS will continue its commitment to social justice efforts in the virtual environment. At elementary and middle school, the Second Step curriculum has been expanded and enhanced to cover themes such as kindness, empathy, and inclusion and to bring to life stories of people of all races and ethnicities who epitomize those values.

A work group that includes community members will help to develop a second Global Community Citizenship Course for high school students, with the goal of having the course in place for the 2021-22 school year. Also, at the high school level, Wednesday mornings will begin with a community meeting where students will take part in advisory lessons, explore contemporary issues, and discuss college and career opportunities.

The four early dismissal days built into the calendar will focus on equity and unity, and staff across the system will continue book studies on these topics.

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New faces in new places

The Division of Human Resources had a stellar summer, hiring more than 560 candidates to fill school-based positions. More than 24 percent of those candidates are diverse, the largest percentage since AACPS began tracking the data more than a decade ago.

There are new principals at 25 schools across the county. Fourteen of those schools have first-year principals, while 11 others have principals new to their buildings.

New technology

AACPS continues to move toward providing a Chromebook device for every student and a laptop for every teacher. Approximately 55,000 Chromebook devices have been or are ready to be distributed, with another 32,000 on order. Every student will have a Chromebook by later this fall.

Resources at your fingertips

Students and families looking for information on the fall instruction schedule or help with virtual learning can find it on one of two AACPS websites, www.aacps.org/fall2020 or www.aacps.org/virtuallearning.

Fuel for achievement

AACPS’ Division of Food and Nutrition Services staff has served more than 2 million meals to children since March 16, the first day schools were closed for the pandemic. This fall, free meals for any child age 2 to 18 will be offered at 119 sites across the county. Children will receive breakfast and lunch each day schools are in session and can pick up those meals at any meal site. Meals are not served on days when schools are closed.

Families can continue to pick up meals without their children present, but must register their name, the names and ages of their children for whom they will pick up meals, and the meal site location by calling 410-222-5900. Parent and guardians can only request to pick up meals for their children.

A complete list of meal sites and service times that will be in effect beginning September 8 can be found at www.aacps.org/mealpickup.

New applicants and students who wish to continue receiving free or reduced-priced meals are encouraged to apply by completing a new SY2020-2021 Meal Benefit Application, available here.

New educational opportunities

While they won’t be occupied until later this year when students and staff return, the county’s 14thhigh school and a sparkling new elementary school stand as two of the three biggest shining examples of the latest work of AACPS’ Facilities Division. The $135 million Crofton High School features 276,000 square feet of space chock full of state-of-the-art technology and equipment. In Glen Burnie, the $39.8 million Richard Henry Lee Elementary School has 81,000 square feet of space and replaces a building in the same location that had served students since 1957. Richard Henry Lee Elementary School students spent two years being housed at nearby Corkran Middle School while the new building was constructed.

A short drive away from Richard Henry Lee sits the renovated George T. Cromwell Elementary School, a $36.3 million project that has increased the space available for students and staff by 32,000 square feet.

Programmatically speaking, AACPS has converted half-day prekindergarten programs to full-day programs at seven schools and added full-day program at four other schools that did not have them.

Back-To-School Events

All schools have scheduled virtual Back-To-School events to provide parents with a chance to learn more about the instruction that their children are receiving and to meet the teachers who are providing that instruction. While some schools have already held their events, many await. Detailed information on dates and times for every school can be found here.

Student immunizations

Even in a virtual environment, it is the responsibility of parents and guardians to ensure that their child’s immunizations and records are both up to date and on file with the school. Students who do not have documentation of required immunizations may not be allowed to attend in-school learning when that becomes available. Parents who have questions should check with their child’s school.

A list of required immunizations can be found online here.

Board meetings on TV and website

Meetings of the Board of Education, which typically occur on the first and third Wednesdays of most months, are broadcast live on AACPS-TV and on AACPS’ YouTube channelLinks to archived videos of Board meetings can be found here.

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