- Anne Arundel County Public Schools
- All school levels
Returning to School - What will a Day be Like for an AACPS Student?
- As AACPS moves forward with the return of students to HYBRID LEARNING in February and March of 2021, this website contains information for families that addresses the hybrid learning environment, including protocols that will be enforced to keep students, staff, and visitors as safe as possible.
The guidelines and protocols found within include best practices and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maryland Department of Health, Anne Arundel County Department of Health, and the Maryland State Department of Education.
ADDITIONAL AACPS HYBRID & VIRTUAL RESOURCE SITES
Health Screenings before School
HEALTH SCREENINGS BEFORE SCHOOL
Families are responsible for daily symptoms screenings before students come to school. Families can use this checklist to monitor symptoms in accordance with current health recommendations. (espanol)
Students must not attend school if they exhibit any one of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
Or two or more of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
- Chills or shaking chills
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Congestion or runny nose
Safety Protocols & Guidelines
AACPS follows recommendations and mandates from local, state, and federal health authorities, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Staff and students must wear proper face coverings for the duration of the school day, except when consuming meals or if they have an approved accommodation.
- Cloth face coverings are recommended and must be worn over the nose and mouth, securely around the face.
HAND WASHING & SANITIZING
Hand washing and sanitizing is encouraged through signage, videos, and verbal reminders.
- Hand sanitizing dispensers and stations have been placed in classrooms and throughout school buildings.
- Hand washing breaks will be expected before and after eating lunch.
- Parents are encouraged to remind students to sanitize hands when:
- going to/ from recess
- entering/ exiting the classroom
- going to/ from the restroom
- before/after touching their masks
Arrivals and Dismissals
ARRIVALS AND DISMISSALS
Families, please ready your student for:
- School staff to invite or direct them to use specific entrances at sides or
back of school to discourage congregating and to avoid unnecessary
interactions with visitors and others.
Staff, please ready yourselves to support students to:
- Remain socially distant during arrivals and dismissals with masks on.
- Gather and take all their materials and their Chromebooks home daily
in their backpack. Nothing should be left at school.
- Pick up their snack and dinner to take with them as they exit the school
Traveling to and from School
TRAVELING TO AND FROM SCHOOL
All Bus Riders should be ready for:
- Arriving at the bus stop wearing a mask* and carrying their backpack with
Chromebook and learning materials for the day (*unless student has an
approved mask accommodation)
- Sitting on the bus fully masked in a seat by themselves facing forward
(in assigned seat, following bus driver’s directions)
Important Notes Related to Riding the Bus:
- Bus capacity is limited to 22-24 students per bus, per route.
- Students will load the bus starting with the rear seats, filling all
designated seats moving forward according to bus driver’s directions.
- Buses will be cleaned twice daily. Frequently touched surfaces will be
wiped down between trips.
All Car Riders and their Adult Drivers should be ready for:
- Drivers (parents/guardians) must adhere to school signage and staff directions
for traffic flow for optimal safety at arrival and dismissal times.
- Car riders (students) must wear face coverings before exiting their vehicles.
Please make sure you have your backpack with learning materials and
Classroom Set-Up & Procedures
CLASSROOM SET-UP & PROCEDURES
- Classrooms will be designed to maximize space and distance between students
- Classrooms will be configured in accordance with applicable distancing
guidelines and CDC recommendations.
- Desks will be spaced at least six feet apart, facing the same direction.
- Students must keep all belongings within designated areas.
- Most additional furniture will be removed from classrooms, meeting rooms, and
other areas to allow for appropriate distancing and safe traffic flow.
- Teachers will use a T-zone instructional model (whenever possible) that allows
for distancing, in the front of the classroom and down a center aisle while also
being visible for virtual learners at home.
- Teachers will be asked to plug in Chromebooks in the available classroom
chargers, as needed.
Student "Traffic Flow" in Buildings
STUDENT TRAFFIC FLOW IN BUILDINGS
- Students must keep all of their belongings within their backpacks or
designated areas and will be allowed limited access to other areas.
- Additional furniture will be removed from classrooms, meeting rooms,
and other areas to allow for appropriate distancing and safe traffic flow
Elementary students will have limited movement throughout the school.
They will stay mainly within their classroom, using hallways only when
entering/exiting the school in mornings and afternoons, accessing restrooms
(if there are no classroom restrooms), visiting the health room, and traveling
to and from playground or play areas.
Middle & High Schools
Secondary students will be traveling between classrooms during class-change
time daily. The school administration will provide specific directions to staff
and students regarding hallway and stairway traffic flow and detailed instructions
about student movement between class periods.
NOTE: Students will be reminded that social distancing is required as they move
about the school building.
Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Snack & Dinner)
MEALS (BREAKFAST, LUNCH, SNACK & DINNER)
- Teachers will be asked to remind students about handwashing before eating.
- There will be handwashing breaks before and after eating; hand sanitizing is
also available for students in classrooms.
- Students will consume meals at their desks.
- Free breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner will be available for all students.
- Meals will be delivered in bins and placed outside of classrooms.
- Breakfast will be delivered prior to the start of the school day.
- Lunch will be delivered prior to the mid-day break.
- Snack and Dinner will be delivered prior to dismissal for students to take
- Sharing of food is not allowed.
- School staff will review the list of students who have food allergies and
accommodate those students as appropriate (similar to pre-COVID
- Students will clean their spaces after meals.
- Students will be instructed that there is no eating allowed on the school
- Teachers will remind students that food is a valuable resource that we should
not waste. They will review the expectation that students take their snack and
dinner home with them where they are able to eat it during the afterschool
and evening hours.
- School health staff will continue to provide typical pre-COVID health room
services to support students and staff.
- School health rooms will serve their usual functions for everyday student
- School health staff will serve as liaisons between the county Department of
Health and school community members to ensure that all approved procedures
are followed and proper, accurate, and seamless communication occurs
in a timely way.
- Separate isolation room(s) will be designated in each school to handle
COVID-related instances that affect students and staff in a school building.
- Procedures are in place to address concerns if a school is impacted by
confirmed case of COVID-19. Those procedures can be reviewed at
- Most processes for student restroom use will not change.
- Restroom use will be staggered so that students are socially distanced to the
- The number of bathroom stalls will be limited and designated to ensure
- Students will be reminded to wash their hands and sanitize when returning
to the classroom.
- Restrooms will be cleaned throughout the school day.
- Recess will be held outdoors unless it is raining, snowing, or extremely
cold outside. Please send your student ready for outdoor play.
- Students will share recess only with their classroom cohort of students.
- Students must wear face coverings during recess and remain socially
- Schedules and playground equipment use will be staggered from day to day
to support student cohorts being distanced from one another.
- Recess (30 min) will be one of the components during the midday block and
will be facilitated primarily by teacher assistants and midday monitors
- Hand washing and/or sanitizing expectations will be reinforced before andx
- In-person programs will resume for student-athletes who compete
in fall and spring sports.
- FALL SPORTS: February 16 through March 20: Fall sports practices
and tryouts (where needed), with activities occurring no more than three
times per week over the first three weeks to ensure field equity. Teams
must have three practices before any cuts are made.
- SPRING SPORTS: April 17 through May 8: Spring sports practices and
tryouts (where needed). Teams must have three practices before any
cuts are made.
- Unified Sports opportunities (tennis in the fall season and bocce in the
spring season) will also be scheduled.
- Students are expected to maintain academic eligibility during both
- More info can be found at www.aacps.org/athletics.
Elementary School Students
Elementary School Students
Orientation to Elementary Hybrid Learning
- On the first hybrid learning day, 30–45 minutes will be used for Hybrid Learner Orientation
- Some morning learning time will be asynchronous for virtual learners
- PreK-5th grade schedules along with schedules for elementary students in special programs can "
be found on our Spring 2021 Student Schedules website.
Secondary School Students
Secondary School Students
Orientation to Middle & High School Hybrid Learning
- On first Hybrid Day, Period 1 will be used for Hybrid orientation for 6th & 9th graders
- Period 1 may be Asynchronous for Virtual Learners; some morning learning time will be asynchronous for virtual learners
What to Bring to School for Hybrid Learning
- Secondary (middle and high school) students must bring:
- Mask labeled with student’s name
- fully-charged Chromebooks
- basic learning materials (pens, pencils, notebooks, calculator) in a bag or backpack
- teacher-requested materials
- Secondary (middle and high school) students should consider bringing (not mandatory):
- personal reading book to be used during midday break
- one small personal item to be used in personal space during midday break (Item cannot make any sounds, cannot be an electronic toy with a screen, and must fit fully in student’s bag or backpack.)
- extra face covering or mask (labeled with student’s first initial and last name)
- pocket-sized bottle of personal hand sanitizer
- Middle and high school schedules, along with schedules for secondary students in special programs can be found on our Spring 2021 Student Schedules website.
Study Halls/Social Time (Middle/High)
STUDY HALLS/SOCIAL TIME
Before/After Care Programs
Before/After Care Programs
- Schools that have existing rooms fully dedicated for before and after
care services will work with those service providers to offer specific services at
a lower capacity.
- Previous services that used school gymnasiums or cafeterias will not be
allowed to offer services through those venues.
Clubs & Activities
CLUBS & ACTIVITIES
- Most club and group co-curricular activities are currently offered virtually.
- In-person club/activity offerings will increase slowly as schools reopen for hybrid learning.
- The following co-curricular activities are able to be offered in person beginning 3/1/21:
- Robotics (VEX, MESA, and FIRST)
- ACER Chromebook Repair Club
- JROTC Drill & Leadership
- IB Internal Assessment Support
- The following co-curricular activities are able to be offered in person beginning 3/15/21:
- Drama & Theater
- Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
- Music Ensemble Co-Curricular Offerings
- Cyber Clubs
- RC Clubs
- Rocket Club
- Please contact your school’s principal with questions regarding the start of your student’s
co-curricular club or activity.
*NOTE: In-person offerings of clubs are based on the availability of staff sponsor(s) to offer
the club in person.
Club and group co-curricular activities are currently offered virtually.
- In-person offerings will be informed by the successful evolution of hybrid
learning, improvement of the local health climate, and local and state mandates.
- Students are expected to bring their Chromebooks to school every day in your backpack.
- Students should fully charge their Chromebooks each evening.
- Please be very careful with AACPS Chromebooks so they are available for learning for all
- Hybrid Learners (in-person students) will not be sitting at a desk in front of Chromebook
for entire school day. (Chromebooks will be used to supplement in-person learning)
- A few Chromebook charging stations will be available for school-issued Chromebooks in
each classroom during the school day, but please send you student to school with a fully
Care of AACPS Chromebooks
-Many families have had accidents with our AACPS Chromebooks. We need to keep them in
good working order so they are available as a learning tool.
- Prescribed cleaning protocols are in place and can be found at
- In addition to monitoring frequently touched surfaces or high traffic areas,
thorough cleanings are conducted on Wednesdays and Fridays.
- If you notice a violation of these protocols, please promptly notify a school or