Letter from Dr. Kane to Parents, Caregivers, and Staff: 1/22/2021
January 22, 2021
Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Employees:
Yesterday, in conjunction with the announcements from Governor Hogan and Dr. Chan, Acting Deputy Secretary for Public Health, State Schools Superintendent Dr. Salmon announced that “local school systems shall plan immediately for the return of students for in-person instruction by no later than March 1st.” Updates to the Maryland School Reopening Guidance continue to be made to clarify expectations for students’ return. QACPS will continue our plan to bring back small groups of students on January 28, 2021. Implementation of the hybrid schedule, which will allow all students to return to in-person learning at their parent’s discretion, will be discussed at the February 3, 2021, School Board meeting. Employees may anticipate a date indicating their return to school buildings after a date has been established to begin the hybrid schedule.
On a call today with Dr. Salmon and Dr. Chan, superintendents were asked to implement their district recovery plan which was approved by the State Department of Education in August of 2020 by the March 1st timeline. Please recall that families who prefer to remain in a virtual learning environment may do so. Students who return to in-person learning will be required to wear masks, practice social distancing to the extent possible, use appropriate hand hygiene, and follow district protocols for mitigating the spread of COVID 19. The school district will continue to collaborate with the QAC Health Department and utilize the appropriate health and safety measures to mitigate the transmission of the virus.
I am pleased to announce that plans are underway to re-engage students in athletics and some co-curricular activities before March 1st. You may expect more details regarding Athletics next week. It’s also my pleasure to announce that QACPS is eligible to apply for just over $3 million in state funding allocated from the second iteration of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) to assist remediation of learning loss, implementation of summer learning programs, purchasing educational technology, and a variety of other allowable uses.
Governor Hogan, Dr. Chan, and Dr. Salmon encourage all who are eligible, to take the COVID 19 vaccine once it becomes available. Dr. Salmon confirmed that reopening schools is not contingent upon the administration of vaccines nor is contingent upon previously accepted health metrics. I am committed to reopening schools as safe as possible. I solicit the support of parents, employees, and the community to ensure that this happens. Everyone is asked to do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID 19.
As always, thank you for all that you are doing to support QACPS.
Andrea M. Kane, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools