Frequently Asked Questions - For Families

  • Dear Families,

    First and foremost, we want everyone to focus on staying healthy and safe during this time away from school. We aim to support your student to continue learning while we are away from the in-person classroom environment.

    As you know, we launched our AACPS eLearning offerings from your student’s Google Classroom on April 14, 2020. Your student’s teachers posted materials, resources, and assignments inside their Google Classrooms and began reaching out to support your student to learn new concepts and skills during the remaining fourth quarter of the academic year in an online learning environment. 

    The learning experiences and assignments are designed to engage your student for a few hours each day.  Teachers are offering Learning Support Time and Office Hours on a daily basis. These are times when students may ask questions about using the Google Suite of tools or seek help with learning the assigned material, respectively.  We know there will be challenges along this journey and we promise to listen to you as you encounter eLearning issues related to technology, time use, expectations, assignments, or human interaction.

    We hope many of the questions you may have will be answered by the Frequently Asked Questions posted below.  If you have additional questions, please e-mail them to:  elearning@aacps.org

  • 6/15/20 How are grades for our ¼ credit courses handled for the Spring 2020 semester? Do students receive letter grades (A-E) or S/NG (Satisfactory/NoGrade) for these ¼ credit courses?

    Consistent with the BOE decision, in 4th marking period students can only earn an ‘S’ or ‘NG’ for 0.25 credit courses.  If a student earns an A, B, C, or D for the 0.25 credit course, then an ‘S’ will go on the transcript instead of the letter grade, the student will earn the 0.25 credit and the ‘S’ will not affect the student’s GPA (positively or negatively).

    Confusion may be occurring because the teacher must enter grades into their gradebook.  The grades eventually are converted to ‘S’ or ‘NG’ by Central Office’s Data Division once grades close.  Parents may see grades in the gradebook right now, but when the report card is issued, there will be an ‘S’ or an ‘NG’ on the report card for the 0.25 credit 4th quarter course.

  • 6/10/20 What’s available this summer for my children to do since all the camps are closed?

    AACPS has much to offer.  Please visit our AACPS Summer website to learn about all the various learning opportunities we have available.

  • My child and my family are feeling overwhelmed with the eLearning work and schedule. What can we do?

    First, please know that we are listening. We realize that in some cases the workload is too great and in other cases there are challenges regarding using the technology, spending too much time online, or expecting too much adult support for each learner. But, it is only the first few days of eLearning and we must give some time to teachers and students to listen to one another and reach a balance.

    Here are a few possibilities to help relieve stress for you and your student:

    • Review the assignments and choose the learning path that will work best for your student.  It may mean that you set a few assignments aside for the time being until your student is ready to tackle them.  You may also wish to break assignments into smaller chunks to minimize frustration during any one learning session.

    • Remember, there is only one assignment per each subject area/course weekly that will be scored and put into the teacher’s gradebook.  It may be wise to organize a strategy where you plan for your student to address these assignments as a priority. In this way, you can offer your student relief from some of the other assignments that may be causing students to feel overwhelmed.

    • We will be posting some “How do I…..?” Information-Directions Support Sheets to help families navigate the world of using some of the tools and software in your student’s Google Classroom’s student resources or materials.  We will also have sheets that describe how to best access some of these tools from your various technologies – smartphone, table, iPad, Windows machine, etc.

    • We are asking teachers to move their due dates for assignments to Sunday evening so students and families have the week and the weekend to work on schoolwork at times that fit best into their families’ schedules and support structures.

  • 4/30/20 My child has an IEP. How will it be determined whether or not my child will be eligible for “Compensatory Services” due to the closure of schools?

    Guidance from both the Federal Government and MSDE states that:

    “Compensatory services are those services that are designed to remediate the loss of a Free and Appropriate Public Education, including the impact of the loss of services during extended school closures, which may be manifested in the regression of skills or the lack of progress in the general education curriculum or towards meeting annual IEP goals”. 

    This guidance also clarifies that:  “if warranted, compensatory skills are not the same as Extended School Year Services, and do not replace existing special education services.  Missed services do not automatically result in a one-for-one award of hours”.  It has been proposed throughout the country that for this COVID-19 situation the term “compensatory services” should be replaced by some other term since these loss in services are not the fault of the public school system.

    Once school reconvenes, informal assessments of your child’s skills will be completed to help you and other members of the IEP team in determining the potential need for additional services.  You and they will be looking at your child’s skills prior to the closure, during the closure, and upon returning to school.  In the meantime, we look forward to doing everything we can to minimize your student’s regression and to maximize any opportunities for growth.

    We value your interest in working collaboratively with us as we do everything possible to serve your child and appreciate your patience and grace as we navigate these unprecedented times.

  • 4/28/20 What is the status of late work and redos in Quarter 4 of this school year?

    We are seeking to create a learning environment for the remainder of the fourth quarter with the least amount of academic and emotional stress possible for students and their families.  As such, we have asked teachers to work with students to be understanding when an assignment is late or to work with a student who needs additional learning support prior to finishing a graded assignment. 

    As you know, there is ONE assignment per week per course or subject that is graded for inclusion in the teacher’s gradebook.  This one weekly assignment has the word “Gradebook” in its title when posted inside Google Classroom.  Look for “Gradebook” in the title and you will know which assignments need to be turned in for scoring and inclusion in the gradebook.  Only these “Gradebook” assignments will be used to calculate the student’s quarterly grade. 

    Teachers are supporting students to learn the material needed to complete assignments during their Learning Support Time via Google Meet or Google Voice sessions offered throughout the week.  We are working hard to minimize student grade anxiety and as such will not be offering Redos during this time away from school.  If your student has questions and needs help, please have them reach out to their teacher prior to submitting their assignment.

    Weekly assigned work is due on Sunday evening according to the timeframe noted by your student’s teacher in their Google Classroom.  Work must be turned in to be graded.  However, a student who is working with their teacher to grasp a concept or overcome the burden of a lack of reliable Internet connectivity, may be given some additional time to complete the work. This will be handled on a case by case basis by your student speaking and working with their teacher via Google Voice or through their Google Classroom communication.  NOTE: No assignment that is attempted and turned in for scoring will receive less than a 50% grade.  

  • 4/28/20 No hablo ingles ¿Cómo puedo ayudar a mi hijo con eLearning (aprendizaje en línea)? - I don’t speak English. How can I help my child with eLearning?

    Todos los padres pueden apoyar el aprendizaje de sus hijos, y los maestros están disponibles para explicarle el trabajo a través del sistema telefónico Language Link. Si necesita ayuda para entender las tareas o la tecnología, o necesita ayuda para comunicarse con el maestro de su hijo, comuníquese con el facilitador bilingüe de su escuela.

    All parents are able to support their children’s learning, and teachers are available to explain work to you through Language Link.  If you need assistance with understanding the assignments or technology, or you need help communicating with your child’s teacher, please contact your school’s bilingual facilitator.

  • How does my child get all the work done assigned by teachers in their Google Classrooms?

    Initially, it is important to note that the assignments are meant to be worked on over the course of a week.  We suggest that each student spends 2-3 hours per day on their school work. This may include watching assigned videos, reading, solving problems, and doing small assignments across all subject areas.  We do not expect that students will be ‘glued’ to their computers or smart devices for several hours per day.

  • 4/26/20 We are very grateful for the efforts of staff to ensure that learning continues/my child(ren) with special needs remain engaged. However, my child & family are overwhelmed by the number of resources, links & learning activities being sent.

    Most importantly, take care of your family and yourself.   If your child is participating in the general education classrooms, please note that the activities being graded are in bold font and should have the word ‘Gradebook’ in the title.  Focus on supporting your child in mastering those activities first.  The work that your child does with their special education teacher and service providers is also key as it is designed to prevent regression and promote growth on the Individualized Continuity of Learning Plan goals. 

    If anything above and beyond this work is overwhelming, please don’t feel like you must address the activities.  If within a key learning opportunity, the number of resources are too great for your child, please assist them in selecting one or two of the supports (video, article to be read…) to use to address the content.

     

  • 4/25/20 Mi hijo todavía está aprendiendo el inglés. ¿Cómo va a participar en eLearning (aprendizaje en línea)? - My child is still learning English. How will they participate in eLearning?

    Los estudiantes en el programa ESOL participan en sus clases del nivel del grado y sus clases de ESOL a través de Google Classroom. Sus lecciones de inglés continúan en el aula de ESOL en Google Classroom, y el maestro de ESOL está disponible para apoyarlos a usted y a su hijo. Los maestros proporcionarán apoyo adicional y adaptaciones para los niños que están aprendiendo el inglés. Los niños en los grados 3-12 también pueden usar el programa Imagine Learning Language and Literacy para continuar aprendiendo inglés.

    Students in the English Language Acquisition program participate in their grade level classes and their ESOL classes through Google Classroom.  Their English lessons continue in the ESOL Google classroom, and the ESOL teacher is available to support you and your child.  Teachers  will provide additional support and accommodations for children learning English.  Children in Grades 3-12 can also use the Imagine Learning Language and Literacy program to continue learning English.

  • 4/24/20 AP STUDENTS AND TESTING: HOW CAN I BEST SUPPORT MY AP STUDENT, INCLUDING LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE NEW AP TEST FORMAT?

    Our AP teachers are working hard to ready all AP students for the upcoming AP tests.  They are offering content and testing support through their Google Classrooms. AACPS also sent home a letter with AP text/exam information on April 20, 2020.  

    In addition, The College Board is offering webinars with teacher, student, and family AP support.Here is the best College Board AP resource website for you and your student to review

  • Does my student need to use the microphone or camera in Google Classroom or Google Meet? I don’t want others to see my student online. Can you tell me how to turn off the microphone and camera?

    This Google Meet Microphone & Camera Infosheet can be used to turn your camera and/or microphone off when in Google Classroom or Google Meet.

    We don’t require your student to show their face when working with their teacher in Google Meet.  Simply turn off your camera and your student will not be seen by the teacher or their classmates.

    When in Google Classroom or Google Meet it is wise to mute your microphone when not speaking so no background noise is captured and shared with the other people in the online environment. You can teach your student to unmute their microphone when they wish to speak.

  • What does eLearning look like for my child starting the week of April 14th

    Beginning 4/14/20, teachers will be holding daily Office Hours and offering daily online Learning Support time for students.  This will be the first week that teachers will be collecting, grading, and counting assignments.  The daily office hours and learning support hours will be set by the teacher and posted inside your student’s Google Classroom. 

    AACPS eLearning – learning online -  will not run like a typical school day. Students should be engaged in core learning for a few hours each day. The number of hours will be flexible based on the grade level of your student with the older high school student most likely spending more time in independent learning than younger students.  Your student’s physical, social-emotional and learning needs and your family’s needs will also play a role in how you and your family decide to plan the “school day” for your child(ren).

  • Are there any restrictions to the videos embedded in the posted materials?

    No, all online resources are approved as AACPS learning tools for our students. In fact, many of these materials are actually built into our daily curriculum. 

  • 5/1/20 CAN I STILL GET A CHROMEBOOK IF I DO NOT HAVE A SMART DEVICE AT HOME? WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE INTERNET EITHER?

    Devices

    • All smart devices such as cell phones, tablets, chromebooks, laptops, desktop computers, and Xbox game consoles can be used to access our AACPS e-learning materials and resources.
    • Please let your principal know if you are still in need of a Chromebook to fully participate in eLearning.

    Connecting to the Internet

    • You can access our AACPS learning materials and resources from anywhere that you can connect to the Internet, including local shopping center parking lots where free wifi connections are available. 
    • Xfinity Comcast is offering free WiFi access for 60 days for first-time customers who qualify. For more information, log on to www.internetessentials.com/covid19
    • If you do not have the ability to connect to the Internet at the present time, please visit one of our locations where we are giving out daily meals to receive AACPS Learning On-the-Go sheets for your students to begin doing their learning while we are away from school.

    NOTE: AACPS has enhanced the power of its Wi-Fi networks at schools. Guest networks are open to the public from
    7 a.m. to 5 p.m. beginning March 31, 2020 so that, where possible, families can potentially utilize the AACPS guest network from the parking lots.

  • 4/27/20 DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER DEALS FOR INTERNET CONNECTIVITY?

    COMCAST

    If you live in an area serviced by Comcast, you may be eligible for Comcast's Internet Essentials program, which offers free or low-cost internet service.  

    Find low-cost internet and affordable computers in your area @ everyoneon.org - enter your zip code to find additional deals on internet service.

    VERIZON

    Verizon is offering additional Mobile Hotspot data for customers.  They are automatically adding 15 GB of data across nearly all plans, to be used between 03/25/2020 and 05/31/2020. To be eligible, you must be on a qualifying postpaid (unlimited or shared), Jetpack or prepaid plan:

    For Unlimited Data Plans

    15 GB of 4G LTE data will be added to your plan’s existing 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot allotment (most unlimited plans include 15GB or 20GB of 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot data standard)

    Eligible plans include: The Verizon Plan Unlimited, Go/Beyond/Above Unlimited Plans, Start/Play More/Do More/Get More Unlimited Plans

    For Shared Data Plans

    15 GB of 4G LTE shared data will be added (can be used for Mobile Hotspot, or any other connected device using the shared data plan)

    Eligible plans include: More Everything Plans, Verizon Plans 1.0 and 2.0 (e.g., S, M, L, XL, XXL), Just Kids

    For Jetpack - Unlimited or Metered Plans

    15 GB of 4G LTE data will be added

    For Prepaid Plans

    All monthly plans with a data allowance: 15 GB of 4G LTE data will be added to monthly metered Smartphone (can be used for Mobile Hotspot), Jetpack and Tablet device plans

    Note: If you're on a shared or account level plan, all lines on the account will share the data. If each line on your account has its own plan, each will receive its own data.

    https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/covid-19-faqs/#hotspot

    Note: Late fees for paying your Verizon bill will be waived until June 30, 2020. Verizon will continue waiving router charges for two months for new Fios Internet customers.

    Importantly, AACPS does not endorse any one service provider over any other provider.  Please check with your Internet Service Provider to ensure that there are no hidden charges or no additional long-term commitments attached to these no-cost offers.

  • How do I turn my cell phone into a “hotspot” so I can access the Internet with my computer?

    All the smartphone carriers are now supporting people turning their Android phone or iPhones into hotspots.  Then, you can connect your computer to the Internet through this hotspot.  There is NO COST to do this during this time period.  

    View directions to have your phone become a hotspot.

  • Do I need a printer?

    Worksheet printing is not required; it is a choice. If your student has access to the Internet, some of the materials are interactive, thus no printer is needed.  If your student does not have access to the Internet, please have them do their work on any paper that is available to them or in their journal, if they have one.

  • What resources does AACPS have to help parents talk with their children about the COVID-19 virus?

    Yes, please see the information on our Social/Emotional Supports website.

  • My child should start Kindergarten in the fall. How do I enroll my future Kindergartner?

    We have an online Kindergarten enrollment process

    Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ kindergarten registration for the 2020-2021 school year will get under way next week, and parents and guardians can reserve their child’s seat by enrolling online beginning at noon on Monday, May 11.

    Children enrolling in kindergarten must be 5 years old on or by September 1, 2020. The following documents are required and will need to be uploaded to www.aacps.org/kindergartenregistration when registering a child for kindergarten:

    • Proof of identity
    • The child’s original birth certificate or birth record
    • A copy of the child’s immunization record
    • Two proofs of residency (deed/lease/mortgage and current utility bill)

    For assistance in locating your assigned school, click on the Locate Your School link on the and the AACPS website.

    Information about the recommended immunizations for children entering school is available at www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

    Kindergarten enrollment is not required to be done online. Those uncomfortable or unable to enroll online may wait until conditions surrounding the pandemic ease so that schools are able to enroll students in their buildings.

  • How do I enroll my child in Anne Arundel County Public Schools?

    You are currently able to enroll your child in AACPS through an online enrollment process.

  • 6/10/20 When do the AACPS Summer programs and Summer School start?

    Most of our AACPS Summer programming begins July 6th or 7th

    We have a design your own summer plan using our K-8 Virtual Learning Buffet, summer academies, special programming for targeted students, learning recovery, assignment recovery to remove and NG – No Grade from your Spring Quarter 4 report card, credit recovery, advanced learning, and our special education extended year program. 

    Some programs run 1-2 weeks, many run 4 weeks, and 1 runs for a full 8 weeks.  Please visit our AACPS Summer website for all the details.

  • 5/9/20 When does Kindergarten Registration begin for the 2020-2021 school year? How will it be handled since we are not currently in school physically?

    Kindergarten Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year will begin at noon on Monday, May 11. Registration will be done online at www.aacps.org/kindergartenregistration.  

    Children enrolling in kindergarten must be 5 years old on or by September 1, 2020. The following documents are required and will need to be uploaded to www.aacps.org/kindergartenregistration when registering a child for kindergarten:

    • Proof of identity;
    • The child's original birth certificate or birth record;
    • A copy of the child's immunization record; and
    • Two proofs of residency such as a deed, lease, mortgage, or current utility bill

    If you have questions, please call the AACPS Early Childhood Office at 302-404-4946.

  • What is the timeline of events for online learning for my student starting 3/30/20?

    The end of Quarter 3 is Friday, April 3rd.  Hence, the week of 3/30/20 is a week where students should try to complete Quarter 3 assignments and turn them in to their teachers by email or Google Classroom, when available. The last date for turning in Quarter 3 work is Wednesday, April 8, 2020.  Also during this week, teachers will be grading these assignments and participating in professional development to support them to understand how best to meet your student’s needs in an online learning environment.

    Beginning on Monday, April 6th, teachers will be posting assignments, learning materials, resources, office hours, learning time hours, and directions on how to communicate with them in your student’s Google Classroom(s). Teachers will be reaching out to reconnect with students, but will not be holding their learning support time or office until next week.

    We will honor Spring Break from 4/9/20 through 4/13/20.  There will be no expectation of teachers or students working during these days.

    Beginning on 4/14/20, teachers will be holding daily office hours and offering daily online learning support for students.  This will be the first week that teachers will be collecting, grading, and counting assignments.  The daily office hours and learning support hours will be set by the teacher and posted inside your student’s Google Classroom.

  • When does the 3rd quarter end and the 4th quarter begin?

    Quarter 3 (marking period 3) ends on 4/3/20 and the Quarter 4 (marking period 4) begins on 4/6/20. Teachers will accept student work for quarter 3 through 4/8/20.

    The first assignments for Quarter 4 will be collected and graded (counted) during the week of 4/13/20. 

  • WHAT IS THE MAIN GOAL OF THE AACPS LEARNING EXPERIENCES FOR 3/16/20 – 4/8/20?

    The AACPS experiences are supplemental lessons and are not meant to be a one-to-one replacement of what your student would have received had they been in school.

  • CAN I ACCESS THE LESSONS FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK (FOR 3/16/20 – 4/8/20)?

    Yes, lessons and learning material remains on the ELearning websites and is not deleted. Previous lessons are available.

  • ARE WE EXPECTED TO TURN IN THE FINISHED LESSONS FROM 3/16/20 – 4/3/20 TO MY STUDENT’S TEACHER?

    The learning experiences posted are offered to students to engage in during the initial 4 weeks of school closure. Students will not be asked to submit their work from these experiences at school following the break and this work will not be graded. 

    Teachers will begin assigning work for quarter 4 during the week of 4/3/20.

  • My student was given a code to log into their Google Classroom, but they lost the code or link. What do I do?

    Your student’s teacher is key to assisting your student. There are two options for the teacher:

    1. The teacher can enroll your child into their Google Classroom.  When your child goes to log into Google Classroom they will see their classroom.  Simply click on the classroom and you will be able to “enter” the Google Classroom.
    2. The teacher can give the initial code to your student again and it will still work.

    Please NOTE:  Please do not call the help desk or the number given you should you need a password reset.  Your student’s teacher is the only person who can help your student access their Google Classroom.

  • HOW DO I GET A STUDENT'S PASSWORD CHANGED OR RESET?

    If students need to reset their passwords, parents should call 410-224-4783 or 410-222-5135 from 9-3 pm Monday-Friday.

  • How Do I Access ClassLink and the Google Drive or reset my password?

    Students can access their AACPS Google Drive and Classlink by signing into Google Chrome on their computers. View more information on how to access.

    • PreK to Grade 3:  Video  
    • All Students Grade 4-12: Video

    Students can log into the Chrome Browser with their student ID# number@aacps.org (example:546789@aacps.org)

    • For students in grades K-3, passwords are the student’s birthdate YYYYMMDD
    • For students in grades 4-12, passwords were created by each student. Ask your child what they created as their password.

    If students need to reset their passwords, parents should call 410-224-4783 or 410-222-5135 from 9-3 pm Monday-Friday.

  • TROUBLE LOGGING IN? PLEASE READ...

    We are beginning to transition to students using their own Google Chrome logins to access resources. This is being done to address copyright issues and to prepare students to transition to Google Classroom. Families will need to log out of their personal Google Chrome accounts and then have students log into their school accounts using their student ID number as their user name (number@aacps.org) and then their passwords.

    For students who need to have their passwords reset, parents should call 410-224-4783 or 410-222-5135 from 9- 3 (M-F) to have it reset. 

  • IS THERE A WAY TO ACCESS THE TV OFFERINGS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE CABLE?

    The videos are embedded in the web pages (lessons) at each grade level online (only needs an internet connection). 

  • Are AACPS lessons available on Live Streaming, YouTube, or DirectTV?

    Unfortunately, due to copyright permission restrictions in broadcasting certain content outside of Anne Arundel County, we are not able to connect our lessons to Live Streaming or YouTube.