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Reopening Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Will PGCPS reopen schools this school year?

Yes. On Thursday, April 8, Phase 1 instruction will begin with a two-day hybrid learning schedule for students in prekindergarten through sixth grade and 12th grade as well as special education students in kindergarten through 12th grade. On Thursday, April 15, Phase 2 instruction will begin for all remaining seventh- through 11th-graders. Families will have the choice to return to the in-person two-day hybrid schedule or continue virtual learning.

When do PGCPS teachers and staff return to work?

PGCPS educators and central office staff will return to the classroom and to their assigned work locations in March ahead of students’ return. 

What happens if I do not wish to send my child(ren) back to school in April?

You will have the choice to continue virtual learning through the end of the school year. Families will receive a survey to indicate their plans to either continue virtual learning or begin hybrid instruction two days a week in April until the end of the school year. Families will have until Sunday, February 28 to complete the survey.

Will the return to school impact the academic calendar?

Spring Break will proceed as scheduled from Monday, March 29 through Monday, April 5. The last day of school for students will be Tuesday, June 15; for teachers, the last day will be Wednesday, June 16.

What is PGCPS doing to ensure safety in school buildings?

Vaccination clinics will continue in collaboration with the Prince George’s County Health Department and Kaiser Permanente. The Maryland COVID Testing Program will allow PGCPS to offer rapid and diagnostic testing for both symptomatic and asymptomatic students and staff. We currently conduct contact tracing for staff and will adopt similar protocols for students upon their return. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be available to all staff and students when in-person learning resumes. We have upgraded all air filters in schools and office buildings to the CDC-recommended Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 and conducted appropriate air quality testing for all schools.

What are the protocols for cleaning amid the ongoing pandemic?

Our current cleaning protocols require the PGCPS Environmental Team to respond with thorough cleaning and disinfecting of any facilities or areas within 24 hours of a known case of COVID-19. As a school system, we have shown restraint in not rushing to reopen and we will continue to adhere to metrics for safe school reopening based on COVID-19 indicators. Additional information is available on the PGCPS website.

What will happen in the case that a student or staff member is found to be COVID positive?

School principals and nurses are responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Schools will provide written notification to staff or families who have had a possible exposure to anyone with COVID-like illness symptoms or a positive case of COVID-19. Should a student have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher and/or any respiratory signs/symptoms, they will be placed in a quarantine room until they can leave the building (i.e., family members can pick up the student). Areas used by the sick person will be closed off and will not be used until after cleaning and disinfecting by custodial staff. Students who test positive for COVID-19 must stay home until cleared by the primary care provider and have tested negative. Students who have had close contact (Maryland Department of Health: Interim Definition of Close Contact) with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 must stay home, self-monitor for symptoms and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. In the event that the school is informed of a case of COVID-19 or possible COVID-19 exposure, the school nurse and/or principal will immediately notify the PGCPS’ Office of Health Services and the principal’s Instructional Director. The school will follow the guidance of PGCPS for notification of staff and families, quarantines, closures, reopening and any other requirements.

How will student meals work once schools reopen in April?

The goal is to ensure that all students participating in the hybrid learning model receive school meals in a safe and comfortable environment. All food items will be prepackaged in single-serve units. Meals will be served and eaten in the classroom, cafeterias, or other areas designated by the school administration. Staff will receive support to ensure that everyone is following CDC guidelines during mealtime. Students participating in hybrid learning will be offered breakfast, lunch and supper. Take-home meals will be available and offered to students for the days they are not on campus. Principals will assess their building and develop procedures based on space availability. When weather permits and space is evaluated for safety, students may be able to eat meals outside. Free meals will continue for students in distance learning on Mondays and Wednesdays. Mobile meals will be discontinued. Students will need to pick up meals from the nearest school.

Will before and after care be available for families who choose the in-person hybrid schedule?

No. Before and after care will not be available this school year.

When do I need to make a decision on whether to send my child back to school?

Families will have until Sunday, February 28 to complete a survey indicating their plans to either continue virtual learning or begin hybrid instruction two days a week in April until the end of the school year. You can choose to continue virtual learning through the end of the school year.  

When will athletics resume?

Coaches may begin in-person afterschool conditioning and outdoor workouts on Wednesday, March 10 for student athletes. Spring sports season practice will begin Tuesday, April 6. 

What is PGCPS doing to ensure safety on school buses?

PGCPS will adhere to CDC guidelines in implementing school bus safety measures. Our Reopening Plan outlines steps we will take to ensure adherence to health guidelines and social distancing amid COVID-19. At a minimum, students and drivers will be required to wear masks on buses, and under the hybrid model, we will transport fewer students at a time. Those who opt-in to in-person learning will attend school on designated days, thus decreasing the number of students requiring transportation. 

Is it mandatory for PGCPS employees to be vaccinated?

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) is not requiring the vaccination for educators. Receiving the vaccination is a personal decision. 

How can I receive more information on reopening?

We will host Telephone Town Halls to share more information on reopening with employees on Wednesday, February 17 and with families and community on Thursday, February 18. Additionally, families can expect to receive a survey to choose whether they plan to continue virtual learning or begin hybrid instruction two days a week in April, until the end of the school year. Families will have until Sunday, February 28 to complete the survey.

What happens if a family does not complete the survey indicating choice for return to school?

Families who do not respond to the In-Person Hybrid Learning or Virtual Learning Enrollment Survey will by default be considered as returning to in-person learning on the hybrid schedule.

What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must stay home until they have tested negative and are cleared by the primary care provider Students will be able to log into their classes virtually if they need to quarantine. 

Will students be required to wear uniforms during hybrid learning?

No. During the hybrid model of instruction, students are not expected to wear a school uniform. Students must adhere to the system-wide dress code which requires students to dress appropriately.

Can a student remain virtual and still participate in spring sports?
Students can participate in sports whether attending school virtually or hybrid.
How do we address if a parent wishes to change his/her mind and has already completed a survey?
They may do so until midnight, February 28th (the date and time that the survey window closes) by completing an additional survey for the student.  When there are multiple entries for a student, only the most recent response will be acted on.