Reopening Updates

MODEL OPTIONS FOR FALL 2020

  • As July 2020 drew to a close, we posted the teaching and learning model options for the Fall 2020 reopening of schools here on this site.  Our 14 Future Planning Committees worked hard to construct a plan that supports robust academic learning and social emotional wellness of our students while keeping the health and safety of students, staff, and their respective families at the center of their recommendations.  Moreover, each committee also followed the guidelines developed by the CDC, Anne Arundel County Health Department, and the Maryland Department of Health.

  • Fall 2020 Chosen Reopening Model

    Anne Arundel County Public Schools will begin teaching and learning virtually at the start of the Fall semester on September 8, 2020.  We will be using a virtual-only model with synchronous live teaching several hours per day. Here are the preK-12 Fall Student Schedules.

    NOTE: Special Education students enrolled in early childhood intervention (ECI), K-12 specialty site programs (ACC & Autism), the three developmental centers, and students attending a non-public school who are working towards a certificate of program completion will receive learning materials and other resources.

    On October 7, 2020 the AACPS Board of Education voted to offer hybrid learning, beginning with our youngest learners.  Beginning in November 2020, ECI, preK, and elementary school students may return to the classroom in reduced numbers. Virtual learning will still be available as a learning format choice. Families of these young students will have the opportunity to choose from three learning models: 

    • Virtual Plus - Hybrid  
    • Virtual – Half Year 
    • Virtual – Full Year

    Visit the October 2020 Family Reopening website to explore each of the learning models.

BUILDING THE MODEL OPTIONS

  • The committees are building three learning models.  There will be a Virtual-Only Learning Model offered among the viable Fall 2020 Model options. Teachers will provide daily synchronous learning (live lessons) as well as learning support (tutoring) and office hours.  Due to health data in Anne Arundel County, AACPS opened in September with all students learning in a virtual-only format.

    We are building an In-Person Learning Modelwhere students will learn 5 days/week fully in-person in their school.  Please note: We cannot implement this model with the full student body if we must adhere to CDC guidelines for social distancing and cleaning.  NOTE: At the time of the school start in September of 2020, the COVID-19 case rate in Anne Arundel County did not allow for full in-person nor hybrid  learning.

    We are also building a Virtual-Plus Learning Model options (Hybrid) where students will learn both virtually and in-person throughout the week. It is this model that the 14 committees continue to work on throughout the fall semester as we plan for a hybrid opening as some point during the fall semester where some students will return to school classrooms for in-person learning on a limited basis (1-2 days/week).  Initially, we plan to bring back students enrolled in our Developmental Centers and at our Centers for Applied Technology.  We will not open for hybrid learning for large numbers of students until it is deemed safe to do so by our county Health Department.


    The following major factors are driving the development of viable hybrid schooling Virtual-Plus Learning Model options for fall 2020:

    School Facilities (CDC and AA County Health Dept. Social Distancing [6ft] and Cleaning Guidelines)

    Number of Students able to be Served on In-Person Learning Days of Virtual-Plus Model

    • Size of the Classrooms determines number of Students/Classroom
    • Number of Classrooms in a School determines number of Students/Cohort or Students/Day
    • Number of Custodial Staff to Clean to CDC Guidelines Determines Ideal Day-Rotation Schedule for Students

    Transportation (CDC and AA County Health Dept. Social Distancing [6ft] and Cleaning Guidelines)

    Number of Students able to be Transported for In-Person Learning Days of Virtual-Plus Model

    • Number of Seats/Bus and Number Students/Seat Determines Number of Students/Bus Trip
    • Number of Bus Trips/School Determines Start Time vs Rolling Start Time of School

    Meals

    Number of Students able to be Served Meals in the Virtual-Only Model from Community Pick-Up Locations and in the Virtual-Plus Model at both Community Pick-Up Locations and in our Schools during In-Person Learning Days

    • Number Food and Nutrition Services Personnel Available to Serve Simultaneously in Communities (Meal Pick-Up) and in Schools for Students Learning In-Person
    • Number of Meals Needing to be Served Daily
    • Ability to Serve/Deliver Meals to Classrooms for Students Learning In-Person in our Schools (Cafeterias will NOT be Used)

    Staffing

    Number of Students able to be Served on In-Person Learning Days of Virtual-Plus Model

    • Number of Staff Able/Willing to Teach In-Person
    • Number of Students per Staff Member In-Person and Virtual (Staff:Student Ratio)     

    Family Choice

    Number of Students able to be Served on In-Person Learning Days of Virtual-Plus Model

    • Student Choice – Which students (grade level/courses) are interested in in-Person Learning
    • Staffing Availability – What staff are available to teach at what grade levels and/or for which disciplines?
    • Demand vs Supply by Grade Level or Discipline Area – How is the fit between student demand and teacher supply at any one school?

DEVELOPING THE HYBRID MODELS

  • As we all know when we work on solving large complex problems or challenges, it is important to learn what will not work as this learning narrows options while leading to a better final solution.  Below you find committee updates delineating the Fall 2020 schooling models and elements no longer under consideration due to the overwhelming staffing, cleaning, transportation, and/or child care challenges or costs.

    7/8/20 – Future Planning Committees: Progress Update I

    • The following in-person schooling models are no longer under consideration for Fall 2020:

      • Split Sessions (AM/PM): In-person schooling AM/PM sessions of student cohorts for any number of days/week.

      • A/B/C Rotations:  In-person schooling A/B/C rotations of student cohorts where some or all students spend 1 or two days per week in school, based on an A-day, B-day, C-day rotation that continues throughout the semester.

    7/15/20 – Future Planning Committees: Progress Update II

    • Additionally, the following are no longer under consideration for the Fall 2020 reopening of school:

      • A/B Rotations: In-person schooling A/B rotations of student cohorts where some or all students spend 2 or three days per week in school, based on an A-day/B-day rotation with alternating students attending on consecutive days, continuing throughout the semester.  NOTE:  An AA/BB rotation model where one cohort of students attends on two consecutive days (A-Day, A-Day) with a second cohort attending on two other consecutive days (B-Day, B-Day) is still under consideration.

      • Full Buses: In any Fall 2020 transportation scenario, we will not be transporting a full bus-load of students. NOTE: Based on CDC guidelines related to social distancing, we are able to transport 1 student per school bus bench which translates into 2 students per school bus row.  Based on school buses with 11, 12, or 13 rows, we will be able to transport no more than 22-26 students to and from school on a single bus at any one time.

      • Full Classrooms: At the Fall 2020 start of school, we will not teach full classrooms of students.  NOTE: Based on CDC guidelines that call for 6 feet of physical distancing between people, on average we will be able to place 10-12 students in a classroom, depending on the configuration of each individual classroom.

    7/20/20 – Future Planning Committees: Progress Update III

    Additionally, the following are no longer under consideration for the Fall 2020 reopening of school:

    • In-Person Learning: In-person schooling of student cohorts for any number of days/week
    • Hybrid Learning: A mix of in-person schooling and virtual learning for student cohorts of students rotationally throughout the week
    • NOTEReaching our most vulnerable students: We are exploring ways to bring some special education students from our Developmental Centers, CAT Center students, and some ESOL students into schools for some small group in-person learning or to receive in-person individual services as we reopen schools this fall.  We will work with individual families to ascertain if there is family interest to receive in-person learning for their student. We will also work with individual schools to see if there are staff members available for in-person teaching. Student demand and teacher supply must match for in-person learning to be implemented and sustained.  CDC and Anne Arundel Health Department guidelines for masks, social distancing, and cleaning protocols will be followed.

    2020-2021 School Year Launches


    8/27/20 – Future Planning Committees: Progress Update IV

    We look forward to a healthy, safe, and exciting launch to the new 2020-2021 school year on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. 

    • All students will be learning virtually using the Google Suite for Education, primarily Google Classroom and Google Meet, as the platform for learning.
    • Future Planning Committees continue to meet to plan for the Phase I hybrid return of students to the Developmental Centers and CAT Centers for some in-person learning.  Additionally, we are planning to bring back some middle school ESOL students and more of our students with special needs from our specialty sites during Phase II of a hybrid return to school.


    9/25/20 – Future Planning Committees: Progress Update V

    Our launch of virtual learning for all 85,000+ students occurred well on Tuesday, September, 8, 2020.  Teachers and students are navigating the world of virtual learning well.  We are still working to make sure that:

    • all students are connected to the Internet for live, synchronous learning.  At this point, over 96% of AACPS students are learning synchronously each day.
    • all students receive an AACPS Chromebook as they become available for distribution based on student need.
    • parents/guardians realize the Family Support Center phone line (410-222-5001) is available for use by all families who are seeking help with Chromebooks, internet connectivity, tutoring services for middle and high school students, and elementary mathematics.
    • Secondary students know that virtual evening tutoring is available Sunday-Thursday evenings (www.aacps.org/tutoring) for all middle and high school students.
    • parents/guardians know where and when meals (www.aacps.org/mealpickup) are available for pickup for students at 126 locations around Anne Arundel County.
    • all AACPS families are aware that we continue to work on building hybrid models where students will be able to return to in-person learning for some period of time each week.

      • Some of our Developmental Center students and our CATNorth students will begin hybrid learning on 9/29/20.

    10/7/20 – Board of Education Votes to Implement Hybrid Learning

    The AACPS Board of Education voted to offer Hybrid Learning this fall to larger numbers of students, beginning with ECI and PreK-Grade 2 students on November 16, 2020.   Grades 3-5 students have the opportunity to return on November 30, 2020.  There are three models for families of elementary students to choose from:

    • Virtual Plus – Hybrid
    • Virtual – Half Year
    • Virtual – Full Year

    Please visit the October 2020 Family Reopening website to learn the details of these learning models.  If you are a parent or guardian of an elementary student (ECI, PreK-5), please visit this same site to register your choice of learning model for each of your students.