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      The Garrett County Board of Education voted on November 10, 2020 to move students to a red, fully virtual learning model beginning Thursday, November 12, 2020, and continuing until at least Thursday, December 10, 2020. GCPS is also cancelling all in-person extra-curricular activities, athletic events, and practices effective immediately.

      Anyone with a question or concern may contact public.info@garrettcountyschools.org, and you will receive a response.

      There have been 778 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Garrett County.

      Please continue to check our website and the GCPS Coronavirus Updates page for more information.

      Coronavirus

      Updates

      2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

      GCPS Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

      GCPS Continuity of Learning Plan

      Garrett County Public Schools will continue meal delivery to sites throughout the county.

      All GCPS schools will open virtually on September 8, 2020.

      The GCPS central office will be closed to the public until further notice. Anyone with a question or concern may contact public.info@garrettcountyschools.org and you will receive a response.

      Garrett County Public Schools is closely monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Please check back for updates or sign up using the form below for news updates.
       
       
       

      Coronavirus Tips & Precautions

       
      Follow the advice from the CDC to use the following universal precautions to protect yourself
      Wash Hands
      Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Washing hands correctly is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy.
      Clean Surfaces
      Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
      Avoid Touching Face
      Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      Avoid Contact with sick
      Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
      Cover cough
      Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
      Stay Home when Sick
      Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children home from school if they are ill with a fever.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

       

      Visit the GCPS 2020-2021 School Year Reopening Updates on the GCPS webpage.

       

      Garrett County Public Schools Update on Reopening Plan

      Jul 8, 2020 at 9:13 pm
       
      Ms. Barbara Baker, Superintendent of Schools, discusses the Garrett County Public Schools update on reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year. Click the link below for the Superintendent's message.
       
       

      GCPS Summer Tech Camps Transition to a "Virtual" Model for 2020 as "At Home" Summer Technology Camps

      Jun 16, 2020 at 1:51pm
      In response to COVID-19, for the summer of 2020, GCPS Summer Tech Camps will transition to a “virtual, at home” model that focuses on fun, engaging, and meaningful “hands-on” activities that students can do independently at home led by Garrett County’s Public High School FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 1629, GaCo.
       
      Two one-week sessions will be offered during the week of July 6-10 and then again during the week of July 13-17. Both weeks are identical and are offered twice for your family’s convenience. Each week will accommodate up to thirty students.
       
      Registration is open for students entering the 3rd through 6th grade this Fall, 2020. Although intended for Garrett County Public School students, as in the past, students not enrolled in Garrett County Public Schools are welcome to participate as well.
       
      During each of the five days of the camp, a “YouTube” playlist along with some written materials will be released by 9:00 AM. “atHome” Campers then have the rest of the day to watch the videos, read the material, and then do the activities. At 6:30 PM each evening, campers will have the opportunity to attend a “virtual campfire” using Google Meet (online video conferencing) for students to share their projects.
       
      “atHome” Camp activities will not be LEGO based and technology is only needed to watch the “YouTube” playlist and participate in the Google Meet, which is not a requirement. All activities will use common household items along with a boxed kit of items that will be delivered to the camper’s home. The boxed kit does not need to be returned.
       
      Depending on grade level and the specific activity, students may need some assistance or guidance in doing each day’s activities. These activities should take about one and a half to two hours to complete.
       
      Some activities are: Making Electric Motors, Using Map and Compass, Making a Block and Tackle, Making Bouncy Balls, Powering an LED Clock with Potatoes, Measuring the “sourness” of Sour Candy using pH - and a whole lot more! Campers can expect about 3 or 4 activities a day, each tied to a specific daily theme such as Electricity and Magnetism, Gravity and Air Pressure, Energy and Motion, and even “Survival Skills.” Some may call these unplugged activities “old fashioned”, but they are essential for STEM readiness nonetheless.
       
      For over twenty-five years, GCPS Summer Technology Camps have engaged hundreds of students in the engineering design process using LEGO robotics. The program is the precursor and foundation of Garrett County’s FIRST robotics teams. GaCo regrets that we must transition to the “atHome” model for its camps for this summer. As part of Garrett County Public Schools, the team has a responsibility to find new and innovative methods of making a difference to Garrett County students while still operating under COVID-19 constraints. The transition to “atHome” camps will help keep our students, staff, and buildings safe and virus free for the summer months with hopes for an as-usual reopening as possible for the 2020-21 school year.
       
      Registration is now open, via Google Forms and will be “first come-first served” based on the time payment is received. Registration will close Friday, June 26. The cost for the camp is $30.00 per camper, which helps to cover the cost of materials. A limited number of scholarships are available through GaCo. Email gaco@garrettcountyschools.org to inquire, as well as to get answers to any other questions or concerns. Click here to begin the registration process.
       

      Garrett County Public School Recovery Plan Survey Available to Parents

      Jun 10, 2020 at 8:26pm
       
      Below is a link to the GCPS Recovery Plan Parent Preliminary Survey. The brief survey is to gather data from parents regarding the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. No log in is required to complete the survey. We encourage one per family but understand that in some cases both parents may want to provide input. The survey will be mailed to families that received the 3rd quarter report card by mail. The survey should be completed and submitted by June 17, 2020.
       
       

      GCPS Expands Wireless Hotspots for Students, Parents, and Staff

      05/15/2020 at 5:02pm
       
      In our efforts to provide reliable Internet access throughout the county for instructional purposes, Garrett County Schools announces the addition of six new hotspot locations. The following locations have agreed to allow students, parents, and staff to access GCPS installed wifi from their parking lots:
       
      Bloomington Fire Hall
      77 N Branch Ave, Bloomington, MD 21523
       
      Backbone Tavern
      4676 George Washington Hwy, Oakland, MD 21550
       
      Lee’s Corner Market
      2610 N Glade Rd, Swanton, MD 21561
       
      Bittinger Mennonite Church
      10707 Bittinger Rd, Bittinger, MD 21522
       
      Avilton Community Center
      8295 Avilton Lonaconing Rd, Lonaconing, MD 21539
       
      Pine Grove Church of the Brethren
      5785 Oakland Sang Run Rd, Oakland, MD 21550
       
      Please be advised that this Internet is filtered, and is for instructional use only.
       
      For a live, updated list of all GCPS hotspots, please visit the link below:
       
       

      Garrett County Schools Announces Final Plans for High School Graduation

      05/14/2020 at 3:24pm
       
      Northern and Southern Garrett High School Graduating Class of 2020,
       
      The experience of high school is truly different for each student. One rite of passage that has always been formal and traditional is the annual graduation ceremony. Through all of the challenges, you persevered and continued learning virtually at home. Each of you has reached the pinnacle of your high school career and is ready to graduate. You have earned your diploma and earned the right to walk across the stage to receive it. We are so proud of your accomplishments and the can-do attitude you have displayed since learning of the closure back in March. None of us could predict or even imagine that months later we would be facing the challenge of honoring each of you while still adhering to a set of restrictions designed to protect our own health and of our loved ones. This year’s annual ceremony may be a little less traditional and may be experienced differently by each student, just like your own high school career. Our hope is to provide you with an experience that you will always remember and one that will be a fitting tribute to the wonderful class of 2020!
       
      Sincerely,
      Mrs. Baker, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Maddy, and Dr. Miller
       
       
      GCPS is pleased to present the following information in regard to graduation for both Northern and Southern High Schools. Graduation for both schools will be a mix of “virtual” and in person. A montage of videos including the valedictorian and salutatorian speeches, as well as the class president’s speech, will be put together with video of students walking across the stage in their caps and gowns and receiving their diploma* from the Superintendent to create the “virtual ceremony”. The videos will be released on June 20, 2020, via social media and the GCPS website. The Northern Garrett High School (NGHS) video will be released at 10:00 AM, and the Southern Garrett High School (SGHS) will be released at 2:00 PM. In addition to the virtual ceremony, plans are underway to hold an in-person celebration on July 25, 2020 as well. However, please understand that the in-person celebration may only take place if the Governor moves Maryland into Stage 3 of recovery no later than July 11, 2020. If the Governor does not move to Stage 3 by July 11, the in-person events will unfortunately be cancelled.
       
      Details of the students recording their walk across the stage is as follows:
       
      The recording of students will take place at the CARC at Garrett College for both high schools.
      NGHS will schedule appointments with students beginning on Wednesday, May 20 and continuing through Friday, May 22.
      SGHS will schedule appointments with students beginning on Tuesday, May 26 and continuing through Monday, June 1.
      Every effort will be made to have all cords, stoles, and other regalia earned by the student available at the appointment to include in the stage walk and for pictures.
      Appointments will be made in 10-minute intervals and each student will be allowed to bring 5 guests with them. Students and guests must wear masks while inside and maintain social distancing. Students may remove the mask as they prepare to make their way onto the stage. Masks may stay off for the diploma presentation and for pictures. However, no one, including the students, should attend if they are feeling ill in any way.
      The student will enter the main gymnasium entrance at their respective time with their family. The principal will call the student’s name, and the student will walk across the stage to receive his or her diploma from the Superintendent. Handshaking will not be permitted.
      Family members may take pictures of the student in his or her cap and gown on the stage and cheer for their child.
      The student and family will exit the back exit (not the same as the entrance) into the parking lot to depart. There should be no congregating in the parking lot with other students and families. When the student's appointment is over, they should leave the premises.
      There will be no seats for family members. Each of the five guests of the student will be asked to stand and watch the proceedings, so there will be no contact with chairs that would need to repeatedly be disinfected.
       
      This plan has been approved by the Garrett County Health Department and Garrett College. In order to host the event, students and families must abide by the conditions outlined above.
       
      *Just as with traditional graduation, students will be presented with a diploma cover. Actual diplomas will be distributed at a later date when all graduation requirements are verified.
       

      GCPS Remain Closed for the 2019-2020 School Year

      05/07/2020 at 10:09 am
       
      Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced on May 6, 2020, that all Maryland Public Schools will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In light of this announcement, all Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) will adhere to the directive and stay closed for the remainder of the school year.
       
      The continuity of learning for students via online, distance learning, and packets will continue through the end of the school year. The last day of school for students in Garrett County is Thursday, June 11, 2020.
       
      Please visit www.pzlusu.icu and https://www.garrettcountyschools/coronavirus to stay up-to-date on the latest information.
       

      GCPS To Close One Meal Delivery Site

      05/05/2020 at 12:32 pm
       
      Garrett County Public Schools will be closing the feeding site at the Oakland Town Parking Lot. The last day that meals will be available at the Town Lot is this Thursday, May 7. We ask those families that have been using this location to go to our Dennett Road Educational Complex site. We will be extending the times at Dennett Road from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The change in times at Dennett Road should accommodate those who have been receiving a meal at the Oakland Town Parking Lot. Eliminating the site will assist in the scheduling of our staff and improve the efficiency of the program overall. This change will begin on Monday, May 11, 2020.

      GCPS Announces Date of Last Day of School for the 2019-2020 School Year

      05/05/2020 at 9:56 am
       
      The last day of school has been officially set as Thursday, June 11. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has approved the 5-day waiver request that was submitted in April. Therefore, students will attend 175 days for the 2019-2020 school year instead of the required 180 days. The last day will not be affected by the statewide closure. June 11, 2020, will be the last day for students if schools re-open on May 18 or if the closure is extended. The last day for seniors is May 27.
       
      If State Superintendent, Dr. Karen Salmon, extends the statewide closure, we will announce a schedule so that students may retrieve personal items from their school. Dr. Salmon has advised all local superintendents that no students are to be in school buildings or congregating on school grounds. This mandate has been in effect since the closure began on March 16 of this year.
       

      Garrett County Public Schools Announces Contingency Plan for Senior Events

      05/02/2020 at 7:01 pm
       
      Dear Parents and Families,
       
      This has been an incredibly difficult time for all of our students, but our seniors have likely been impacted the most. Many winter athletic events were postponed and then canceled. Our spring sport season was canceled completely. We have postponed proms, canceled FFA and JROTC banquets, postponed or canceled awards assemblies, and postponed theater productions. Unfortunately, this list goes on and on. When we go back to our new normal, our younger students will likely have a chance to experience all of these things that make school so fun. But our seniors will not. This sacrifice has not gone unnoticed by all of us at Garrett County Schools. We know that these events are not only special for our students, but also for the many parents, grandparents, and siblings who have supported them through their school career.
       
      Right now, the greatest dilemma we are facing is graduation. There are still many things that are unknown. Without knowing exactly when schools will re-open, we are trying to plan for a number of scenarios. Each scenario takes a tremendous amount of planning and must also abide by the current guidelines that have been put in place by the governor. He has not provided a timeline for his phase-in approach to reopening the state so we cannot assume that an in-person graduation will be allowed in June or even July. Therefore, the principals have been working on contingency plans in the event that we are left with few options. They have included a number of ways to honor our seniors from now until June. Please understand that this is not the way we prefer to hold graduation. My greatest honor each year is presenting a high school diploma to each senior. That just may not be an option this year, and for that I am so sorry. Each high school has developed a plan to recognize this amazing accomplishment in our students’ lives. Thank you for understanding.
      My best to you at this very difficult time,
       
      Barbara Baker
      Superintendent
       
      Graduation Contingency Plan for Southern and Northern Garrett High Schools
       
      Due to the current and anticipated restrictions due to COVID-19, we have developed contingency plans in the event that Northern and Southern cannot hold the traditional graduation ceremony as we always have. In the event that the ceremony cannot take place as scheduled at the CARC on May 30th, GCPS is planning a "virtual" ceremony complete with valedictorian and salutatorian speeches, class president and principal remarks, and all of the things we have come to expect from Garrett County's graduations. All graduating seniors will have their name called and their picture displayed at that time. The video will be aired on all GCPS social media platforms on May 30th and a hard copy DVD will be provided to all seniors. There will also be a "drive up" diploma distribution on June 4th at each high school where seniors will be awarded their diplomas along with the graduation program, ceremony DVD, and awards with a parade to follow pending formal approvals from local authorities. Please watch for more information specific to each school from the respective principals.
       
      Southern Garrett High School
       
      Southern Garrett High School is working on plans to live stream the diploma distribution on Facebook in addition to providing a photographer for this event based on restrictions at that time. Additionally, in the event that we are unable to hold our senior awards night on May 28th, SGHS will be planning a “virtual” awards ceremony that will include the traditional components as well as additional components highlighting some of our CTE pathways that would normally have their own ceremony. We are also designating the month of May as “Support the Class of 2020” Spirit Month. SGHS encourages all staff, families, friends, and business partners to show their support throughout the month by decorating their door/lawn and displays with banners, posters, signs, red/white/RAM decorations, and messages on business marquees. Southern will be purchasing individual senior signs that will include each senior’s name that will be displayed on the lawn by our school marquee along with banners in support of our senior class. We will also have each senior’s name scrolling on the marquee. We are asking parents and students to help us as we create the senior edition and yearbook that will highlight senior memories as well as various group activities throughout the years. Please stay tuned as we continue to work out the details of how we are honoring our senior class and for specifics related to the events detailed in this message.
       
      Northern Garrett High School
       
      Northern Garrett High School is working on plans to live stream the diploma distribution on Facebook in addition to tentatively providing a photographer for the event based upon restrictions in place at that time. In addition to the countywide graduation plans, Northern Garrett High School is working on virtual plans for upcoming special events.
       
      Should school closures continue beyond May 15th, 2020 the Annual Awards Assembly generally held during school (previously scheduled for May 20th) will be shared as a virtual event. The Annual Awards Assembly will recognize all special awards, scholarships, and other featured awards.
       
      The month of May has been designated as “Support the Class of 2020” Spirit Month in our communities. NGHS encourages all staff, family members, friends, and business partners to show their support throughout the month by decorating their door/lawn with displays such as banners, posters, signs, Husky blue/gold decorations, and messages on business marquees. Individual senior signs with each senior’s name will be displayed lining the Pride Parkway entry to NHS.
       
      We are asking parents and students to help us as we create the yearbook and any other shared publications that will highlight senior memories as well as various group activities throughout the years.
       
      Please stay tuned as we continue to work out the details of how we are honoring our senior class and for specifics related to the events detailed in this message.
       

      Garrett County Schools Announces Meals-to-You Program

      Last Updated on May 1, 2020 at 3:10pm
       
      Garrett County Public Schools is offering another option for food and nutrition for our students during the current statewide school closure. We are pleased to announce a new program that will deliver meals to your doorstep at no cost to you. This program is called Meals-to-You and is a partnership between Garrett County Public Schools, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Baylor University. The program is open only to students who receive Free and Reduced meals and are enrolled at Friendsville, Grantsville, Broad Ford, Crellin, Yough Glades, and Southern Middle Schools.
       
      Next week, staff from GCPS will be emailing and calling families that meet the eligibility requirements. The enrollment period runs from May 5th to May 12th only. Enrollment will not be offered at any other time, so please make sure you enroll during this window. If you believe that your family is eligible for the Meals-to-You program and you are not contacted by GCPS, please reach out to us.
       
      If you have questions, please call the Food & Nutrition Services Department at 301-334-8917 or 1-888-285-7248.
       

      Garrett County Schools Continues to Expand Wi-Fi Availability

      05/01/2020 at 1:51 pm
       
      Garrett County Public Schools is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Garrett College to create a Wi-Fi hotspot on the GC campus, centrally located in Garrett County.
       
      As with all GCPS schools, the Wi-Fi hotspot is “GCPSOpenWIFI" and can be accessed from Lot B, in front of building 600 at the Garrett College McHenry campus. No password is needed, and it will be available to GCPS staff and students for instructional purposes, from 8am to 8pm. A map of the campus can be found at the link below:
       
       
      Garrett County Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Baker stated, “I would like to thank President Midcap and his staff at Garrett College for their willingness to assist us in providing this service to our community. The expanded capability gives our students and families additional resources to help them while we implement our Continuity of Learning Plan.”

      Food and Nutrition Services Reminds Families of Meal Delivery Schedule

      04/30/2020 at 12:16 pm
       
      We would like to remind families that meals are distributed Monday through Thursday at our 16 sites. Three meals and a snack will be supplied at that time. The meals may not be eaten on site, but rather should be taken home to enjoy. Cars will drive up, and bags of food will be placed on the table. Two days of meals will be distributed on Thursdays. Please remember to wear a mask when you get out of your car. For more information, please visit our website http://www.pzlusu.icu/food-and-nutrition-services or by calling 301-334-8918.
       
      Also, please help us celebrate those staff members who have been working during this time to continue to feed the children of Garrett County as we celebrate School Lunch Hero Day April 30th. If you see one of our staff, please thank them for their willingness to make sure the children of Garrett County have the ability to receive a free meal during this difficult time.
       

      GCPS Continuity of Learning Plan

      04/24/2020 at 4:21 pm

      The GCPS Continuity of Learning Plan (COLP) has been consolidated into this LiveBinder for the 2020 school closures due to the Covid19 pandemic. This site is updated in real time as additional information is made available to the GCPS instructional team. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) recently updated the essential components. Those components are listed here with hyperlinks for access directly to them. The components are also accessible through the green sub-tabs at the top of the tab in the LiveBinder:

      Essential Components of the GCPS Continuity of Learning Plan

      1. Distance Learning
      2. Roles and Responsibilities
      3. Sample Schedules
      4. Grading and Reporting
      5. Access and Equity
      6. Professional Development
      7. Resources
       
      Families can engage students with learning resources through this LiveBinder to reinforce skills and knowledge. The plan is designed to support ongoing learning, provide internet access to students, and reinforce GCPS staff members’ connection with students, families, and the community during the closure. We are committed to supporting learning through a variety of digital and non-digital materials, activities, and resources to continue learning at home. Lessons and materials developed by the district are included throughout this depository. Lessons and materials autonomously developed by individual teachers, under the guidance of building principals and supervisors, are available through those teachers. Teachers have posted office hours and are available during these time blocks to assist students and parents with planning, understanding, and successfully completing assignments.
       

      Reminder - Elementary Packet Pickup is Scheduled for Friday, April 24, 2020

      04/23/2020 at 5:11 pm
       
      Updated -
       
      Elementary school grade level learning packet #2 for students in grades Pre-K through 5 will be available at your home school on Friday, April 24, 2020, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 3:30 PM.
       
      There are 3 schools with the following exceptions:
      • Broad Ford 9:00 AM-4: 30 PM
      • Swan Meadow 8:30 AM-4:00 PM for K-8
      • Yough Glades 8:00 AM-4:00 PM
      • Or unless your school has already contacted you with other pickup times
      When a packet is picked up, the student’s name will be highlighted on a class list to identify that he/she has received the packet. For those packets that have not been picked up, a phone call will be made to the family to arrange another way of delivery.
       
      We encourage all students to continue to complete the work in the packets at their own pace and with the guidance of their teachers. Each school principal is coordinating with the teachers to use various means to collect and score the work in the packets.
       
      For students doing the work online, a new phase of assignments will be available through the Livebinder.
       

      GCPS Provides WiFi Connectivity from School Parking Lots

      04/23/2020 at 3:56 pm
       
      Garrett County Public Schools is providing an internet connection that is accessible from your vehicle in parking lots at all schools. Please select "GCPS Open WiFi" on your device (no password is needed). The parking lot WiFi capability enables you to access the internet easily. The WiFi will be available from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM each day. This WiFi is intended for use by GCPS staff, students, and parents, for instructional purposes only.
       
      For simple instructions on how to connect, please view Mr. Brian Schilpp's informative video for Northern High School. Directions for connecting are similar for the other schools.
       
       

      GCPS Schools Will Remain Closed through May 15, 2020

      04/17/2020 at 3:05pm
       
      Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced today (April 17, 2020) that all Maryland Public Schools will remain closed for an additional three weeks through May 15th in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In light of this announcement, all Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) will adhere to the directive and remain closed through May 15, 2020.
       
      Thus, the next Continuity of Learning packets for at home learning will be distributed on Friday, April 24. More information will follow regarding specific pick-up times and instructions for safe social distancing. Parents and students are encouraged to reach out to teachers for support with the activities in the packets.
       
      Please visit www.pzlusu.icu and https://www.garrettcountyschools/coronavirus to stay up-to-date on the latest information.
       

      Message to the Community from Ms. Barbara Baker, Superintendent

      Apr 11, 2020 at 1:45 pm
       
      Ms. Barbara Baker, Superintendent of Garrett County Public Schools, has released a video message to the community. The video was recorded Friday, April 10, 2020. You can view the Superintendent's message by clicking on the link below.
       
       

      Garrett County Public Schools Announces New Timeline for the Continuity of Learning Plan

      04/10/2020 at 11:23am
       
      April 10, 2020
       
      We at GCPS have heard from a number of parents and families that the learning activities and assignments previously distributed in Phase 2 of the Continuity of Learning Plan take a considerable amount of time for students and require a lot of help from parents. We want you to know that we understand that this is adding stress to some families during this difficult time. In an effort to address this, and again try to calm anxiety, the Elementary Packets for Phase 3 of the Continuity of Learning Plan will contain fewer assignments and will not be distributed until Friday, April 24, 2020. By changing this date, elementary students will gain an additional week to make direct contact with their teachers, have the opportunity to determine any individual adjustments that may be needed, and to allow additional time to work toward completion of the packets. This change will also align with the next middle and high school pickup timelines so that families will not need to make multiple trips.
       
      In addition, we have also heard from a number of parents that the packets could be better organized. To address this, we will ensure that the pages are aligned, numbered when possible, and are not copied front-to-back. We feel like this will make the packets more user friendly and simpler for our youngest students to complete the activities.
       
      Please be assured that the goal of the GCPS Continuity of Learning Plan is to offer learning opportunities for each child. It was never our intention to cause undue stress or anxiety during this incredibly difficult time.
       
      Please continue to be patient as this is a new way of learning for all of us. The teachers and all of the GCPS staff who support learning are working to ensure that our students have the tools needed to stay engaged. If for any reason you feel that you or your child does not have these tools and resources or if you need an extension, a revision, or a waiver for the included assignments, please do not hesitate to reach out to your teachers and/or your principal.
       

      A Message from Superintendent of Schools Barbara Baker

      04/07/2020 at 9:36 am
       
      Parents/Guardians, Students, and Community Members,
       
      It is my sincerest hope that this letter finds you healthy and well taken care of at this very difficult time in all of our lives. Throughout this week before the Easter holiday, I plan to provide updates each day into the work of our school system that has been taking place during the closure mandated by Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Karen Salmon. The information and guidance that citizens receive from our leaders in Annapolis changes quite frequently and that often impacts what information I can provide from the school system. That is why I would like to spend this week sharing some of the great things we are doing and to hopefully calm the fear and anxiety of both students and parents now that the Continuity of Learning plan has begun to be implemented. The health and safety of our children, their parents and loved ones, our employees and their families, and our health care providers is of the utmost importance at this time.
       
      As soon as the closure was announced, Dr. Salmon directed all local superintendents to begin working on a plan to address a lengthy closure that would keep students engaged in their own learning. Unfortunately, there are a number of questions surrounding this plan that have yet to be worked out, the least of which is what days will and will not count toward the 180 days of school requirement and what can and cannot be applied to promotion and graduation. So, my team and I spent the first two weeks planning and strategizing about how to best go about keeping students engaged in their own learning. What we came up with is not perfect and we know we can do better! As educators, we are trying to reach all children, include the main content, address fine arts and physical activity, and provide as many resources as we can. So, the main point of my message today is this: Please do not panic or stress over the amount of work and papers that are included in the packets or has been loaded onto devices. Your teachers have set up office hours to help you with the content and assignments. A help desk is being implemented to provide assistance for technical issues. And my team and I stand at the ready to provide any additional support you may need! Our intention was never to add to the stress that each of us is feeling at this uncertain time, but rather to provide a way for all of our children to remain engaged in their own learning.
       
      As stated earlier, the guidance we receive from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) changes frequently. Dr. Salmon, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools, announced that while schools may distribute learning packets, using safety precautions in the preparation and distribution, schools may not collect the learning packets once they are completed for health and safety reasons. Therefore, for now, parents will need to maintain the completed packets until we receive additional guidance from the MSDE. So, at this point, all work should stay at home. It will be collected when we know more about the requirements for graduation and promotion, or when the school system is permitted to re-open. Please understand that I completely empathize with your frustration regarding the changing guidance and requirements. For now, the best advice I can give is to complete the work at your own pace, do the very best you can under the circumstances, keep reading and practicing your math facts, and work with your teachers on assignments you don’t understand.
       
      Please continue to be patient as this is a new way of learning for all of us. There will be mistakes made and lessons to be learned, but we will figure this out as we move forward. Our teachers, administrators, instructional assistants, food service personnel, custodians, and all of the wonderful people that work in our school system are here to help you! Please enjoy the time with your family this holiday weekend and come back to the work next week. I hope the resources provided for the students will bring a sense of normalcy back to our families.
       
      Ms. Barbara L. Baker
      Superintendent of Schools
      April 7, 2020
       

      A Message from the Interim Director of Special Education

      04/03/2020 at 11:59 am
       
      Parents/Guardians of Students with Disabilities,
       
      I want to start by saying that we, in Garrett County Public Schools, hope you and your family are safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that you and your child’s safety, along with those individuals providing services, are our top priority as we navigate special education services during this time.
       
      You should have received a phone call from your IEP Coordinator or Infants and Toddlers Service Coordinator over the past week, or you will be receiving one later today. The purpose of this call is to review our county’s Continuity of Learning Plan and to discuss how we can support your child during this time while continuing to provide IEP/IFSP services. You will also be receiving a Prior Written Notice (PWN) in the mail, indicating that we will continue to provide a free, appropriate, public, education (FAPE) to the maximum extent possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, your child’s case manager will be contacting you in the coming week to arrange specific times and methods of service delivery. They will continue to be in constant communication with you and your child during this time to ensure your child is receiving their accommodations, modifications, and services.
       
      If you have any questions or concerns during this time, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s special education teacher, school IEP Coordinator, IFSP Service Coordinator, or myself. We are here to support you and your child during this time. In addition, we have created a Facebook page labeled, “GCPS Department of Special Education” that is open to the community. We will be posting resources and updates on this page, as they apply specifically to special education. As I stated earlier, please let us know if we can do anything to help during this time. We are looking forward to seeing our students again once schools are reopened.
       
      Take Care,
      Dr. Chelsie Manges
      Interim Director of Special Education
       

      GCPS Announces Meal Delivery Plan for the Next Two Weeks

      04/01/2020 at 11:45 am
      The meal delivery to all 16 sites throughout the county will continue. Only the delivery to students’ homes has been discontinued. It is necessary, however, to adjust the schedule in the coming weeks. Again, we do appreciate your patience as we make adjustments to our plan to serve as many children as possible while still ensuring the safety of our employees. The holiday weekend has also been adjusted so that our employees may enjoy time with their families. Please note the following:
       
      Friday, April 3, 2020 – No meal delivery
      Friday, April 10, 2020 (Good Friday) – No meal delivery
      Monday, April 13, 2020 (Easter Monday) – No meal delivery
       
      Thursday, April 2, 2020 – Two days of meals will be delivered to all 16 sites
      Thursday, April 9, 2020 – Three days of meals will be delivered to all 16 sites
       

      GCPS Continuing Meal Delivery; Must Suspend Home Delivery

      03/31/2020 at 9:40 am
       
      Garrett County Public Schools will continue meal delivery to the 16 sites throughout the county. However, the home delivery option must be discontinued in response to Governor Hogan’s mandate that all non-essential personnel stay home. At this time, the delivery of meals to the current sites does meet the definition of an essential service to children. We thank you again for your patience as we adapt our practices in order to keep our employees, their families, and the community safe.
       

      Continuity of Learning to Begin April 6, 2020

      03/28/2020 at 6:42 pm
       
      Governor Hogan and State Superintendent Salmon announced that all public schools in the state of Maryland would be closed for an additional four weeks. Garrett County Public Schools central office and school-based administrative staff have been working during the two-week emergency closure of all Maryland schools to prepare for the format and distribution of student work now that schools are closed through April 24th.
       
      The third grading period will end Friday, April 3, 2020. The fourth grading term will begin on Monday, April 6th. Teachers will accept any and all work submitted on or before April 3 and grade assignments as per their classroom procedure.
       
      This upcoming week, each principal will work with teachers and support staff to finalize the online learning component, if applicable. The continuity of learning will officially begin on April 6th for students through various means depending on the students’ and families’ connectivity and technology access. Each principal has the results of the survey regarding technology that was publicized during the emergency closure period. However, families may receive an email or phone call from GCPS central office staff or your child’s school to ensure that we have as much information as possible to make informed decisions. Based on those results, teachers may distribute learning packets to students who do not have online connectivity and/or technology. These learning packets will also be distributed the week of April 6th. Please follow the directions that will be included with the packet or provided by the principals via the school system website.
       
      We ask for your patience as GCPS works through the transition to online learning and/or the distribution and content of learning packets.
       

      AP Updates for Schools Impacted by Coronavirus

      03/26/2020 at 9:18 am
       
      High school students taking AP exams in May can get support from the College Board while schools are closed due to the coronavirus.
      Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, students and schools will have access to free, live AP review lessons, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. The lessons will focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75% of the course. These mobile-friendly classes are:
      • Designed to be used alongside work that may be given by schools.
      • Recorded and will be available on-demand so teachers and students can access them any time.
      • Not dependent on current AP teachers continuing instruction. We know many AP teachers now face challenges that would make that impossible.
       

      GCPS Schools Remain Closed through April 24, 2020

      03/25/2020 at 12:23 pm
       
      Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced today (March 25, 2020) that all Maryland Public Schools will remain closed for an additional four weeks through April 24 in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In light of this announcement, all Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) will adhere to the directive and remain closed through April 24, 2020.
       
      The administrative leadership team and staff members in GCPS has been working on a plan to address the continuity of learning. As soon as the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) provides guidance on a timeline of implementation, GCPS will finalize our plan and communicate the details to all stakeholders including students, parents, and our staff. In the interim, please visit www.pzlusu.icu and http://www.pzlusu.icu/coronavirus to stay up-to-date on the latest information.
       

      Update on GCPS Meal Sites and Delivery

      03/24/2020 at 1:53 pm
       
      After our first week of meal sites, Garrett County Public Schools has found it necessary to change the current meal delivery plan. Beginning Wednesday, March 25th, all meals will be delivered to the current list of meal sites at lunchtime only. GCPS will not be offering an evening delivery. Three meals and a snack will be supplied at that time. The lunch meal will be a hot meal, while all other items will be cold or dry items.
       
      Home delivery of meals for those who have signed up will be delivered beginning on Wednesday, March 25th. Deliveries will be daily between 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM this week. Should the school closure be extended beyond March 27, beginning Monday, March 30th home-delivered meals will be delivered once a week and will include 5 days of meals. It is the hope that all of the meals can be delivered on Monday, March 30th, between 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM.
       
      Times for each site are listed below. The meals may not be eaten on site, but rather should be taken home to enjoy. Cars will drive up, and bags of food will be handed to the driver. Meals will be distributed at the following locations while schools are closed:
       
      Deer Park Town Hall - 100 Church Street, Deer Park, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (10:30-10:50)
       
      Swanton Otterbein United Methodist Church - 3443 Swanton Road, Swanton, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20)
       
      Bittinger Fire Hall - 176 Brenneman Road, Bittinger, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (11:45-12:05)
       
      Eastern Garrett Fire Hall - 401 Finzel Rd, Frostburg, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (12:35-12:55)
       
      Dennett Road School - 770 Dennett Road, Oakland, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (11:30-12:00)

      Liberty Mews - 451 Liberty Street, Oakland, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20)

      Crellin - 57 Crellin Street, Crellin, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (11:35-11:55)

      Oakland Town Parking Lot - 103 Town Park Lane, Oakland, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (12:10-12:30)
       
      Deer Park - 198 Frank Custer Drive, Deer Park, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (12:45-1:05)
       
      Garrett County Chamber of Commerce - 15 Visitors Center Drive, McHenry, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (10:40-11:00)

      Hickory Environmental Center (Northern Middle’s bus loop) - 604 Pride Parkway, Accident, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (11:20-11:40)

      Friendsville Elementary School - 841 First Avenue, Friendsville, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (12:00-12:20)

      Grantsville Elementary School - 120 Grant Street, Grantsville, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (12:40-1:00)
       
      Loch Lynn - 319 Roanoke Avenue, Loch Lynn, MD (pavilion)
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20)

      Kitzmiller Community Park - 290 W. Main Street, Kitzmiller, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (11:45-12:05)
       
      Bloomington Park - 334 North Branch Avenue, Bloomington, MD
      Monday – Friday: Lunch (12:30-12:50)
       
      If you have any questions, please contact the Food and Nutrition Services Office at 301-334-7652 or 888-262-2792.
       

      GCPS Update on COVID-19

      03/19/2020 at 12:36 pm
       
      The following message is from Ms. Barbara L. Baker, Superintendent of Schools:
       
      Dear Parents, Students, and Community Members,
       
      The administration and staff of Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) continue to review the decision made by the state superintendent to close all Maryland public schools for two weeks. I would like to update our families on the latest developments regarding the school system’s progress to address the pandemic. GCPS leaders have been working to provide learning opportunities for students during the period of closure. To that end, we have created a survey to assess how to best reach all students. School principals will be distributing the survey and tabulating the data for each school community. In order to ensure that we are reaching as many families as possible, they may also reach out to families via email or by phone. Beginning Monday, we will use the preliminary results to plan for the continuity of instruction for all grade levels. We are exploring all options including video lessons and project-based learning. If your child received a packet of work to complete during the closure, please have him or her continue to work on it. When we return to school, teachers may review the assignments but grades will not be taken.
       
      I am also pleased to share that we are feeding all children 18 years or younger at sixteen sites across Garrett County. On our first day, we served 176 meals! Starting on Friday, we will also be offering a hot supper every day Monday through Friday throughout the closure period. We have had a number of local businesses and restaurants offering to donate additional “grab-n-go” options to ensure that our young people do not go hungry during the closure period. A special thank-you goes out to them.
       
      Please understand that we know that this situation is creating many hardships for those in our community. Most of the questions I have received center on the length of the closure and whether or not we will be able to return to normal operations. The state superintendent, Dr. Karen Salmon, has been meeting with all local superintendents via conference call on a regular basis thus far. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the spread of the virus, she has made it clear that students are not to be in any school building or on school property. Therefore, no one is to be on our playgrounds or using school property as a place to meet or congregate. She has not provided any additional information as to whether the closure would be extended beyond two weeks.
       
      At this juncture I am unable to answer questions regarding the impact of the virus on our traditional end of year activities such as proms, promotion ceremonies, or even graduation. This ever-changing situation also impacts many other things such as standardized testing, AP exams, college applications, and spring sports. The status of all of the events and activities will be determined as we receive more information from the Maryland State Department of Education if the closure extends beyond two weeks. Our team will work through each one and provide regular communication through our website, school messenger, and social media. There is a dedicated page on our website (www.pzlusu.icu/coronavirus) that contains all of the COVID-19 information we have. You will find the most up to date information regarding the school system’s response, CDC guidelines, and links to resources for parents and families. The central office of GCPS is currently closed to the public. However, you may send an email to: public.info@garrettcountyschools.org or to a specific individual and your email will be returned as soon as possible.
       
      Thank you for your continued support of Garrett County Public Schools and for your patience as we navigate through this unprecedented event. As soon as I have additional information I will communicate that to our GCPS Community.
       
      Please take care to stay healthy and safe!
       

      GCPS Now Offering Home Delivery of Meals

      03/19/2020
       
      Garrett County Public Schools is now offering home delivery of meals. If you have a difficult time reaching one of the food service sites in the county during the period of extended closure, please complete the Google form located at: http://www.pzlusu.icu/meals.
       
      The Food Services and Nutrition Office will make every effort to deliver meals to your home. In order to receive the delivery, someone must be present at the home when the food arrives. If you have any difficulty completing the form, please call 1-888-285-7248 and leave a message including your name, phone number, email, number of children under 18, and your address. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Meals and delivery are provided at no cost to the family for all of the children 18 and under.
       

      Garrett County Public Schools Announces the Expansion of Meals to Include Supper

      03/19/2020 at 8:17 am
       
      Garrett County Public Schools is expanding free meals to include a hot supper at all 16 sites beginning Friday, March 20th. The time for each location is listed below. Meals are not to be eaten onsite and should instead be taken home to enjoy. As a reminder, meals are free to anyone 18 years of age and younger. In order to receive the meal, please drive up to the site and one bag of food for each child will be handed to the driver.
       
      Meals will be distributed at the following locations throughout the duration of the statewide school closure:
       
      *NEW* Deer Park Town Hall - 100 Church Street, Deer Park, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (10:30-10:50); Supper (4:30-4:50)
       
      *NEW* Swanton Otterbein United Methodist Church - 3443 Swanton Road, Swanton, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20); Supper (5:00-5:20)
       
      *NEW* Bittinger Fire Hall - 176 Brenneman Road, Bittinger, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:45-12:05); Supper (5:45-6:05)
       
      *NEW* Eastern Garrett Fire Hall - 401 Finzel Rd, Frostburg, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:35-12:55); Supper (6:35-6:55)
       
      Dennett Road School - 770 Dennett Road, Oakland, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:30-12:00); Supper (4:30-5:00)

      Liberty Mews - 451 Liberty Street, Oakland, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20); Supper (4:30-4:50)

      Crellin - 57 Crellin Street, Crellin, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:35–11:55); Supper (5:05-5:25)

      Oakland Town Parking Lot - 103 Town Park Lane, Oakland, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:10-12:30); Supper (5:40-6:00)
       
      Deer Park - 198 Frank Custer Drive, Deer Park, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:45-1:05); Supper (6:15-6:35)
       
      Garrett County Chamber of Commerce - 15 Visitors Center Drive, McHenry, MD 21541
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (10:40-11:00); Supper (4:30-4:50)

      Hickory Environmental Center (Northern Middle’s bus loop) - 604 Pride Parkway, Accident, MD 21520
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:20-11:40); Supper (5:10-5:30)

      Friendsville Elementary School - 841 First Avenue, Friendsville, MD 21531
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:00-12:20); Supper (5:50-6:10)

      Grantsville Elementary School - 120 Grant Street, Grantsville, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:40-1:00); Supper (6:30-6:50)

      Loch Lynn - 319 Roanoke Avenue, Loch Lynn MD (pavilion)
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20); Supper (4:30-4:50)

      Kitzmiller Community Park - 290 W. Main Street, Kitzmiller, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:45-12:05); Supper (5:15–5:35)
       
      Bloomington Park - 334 North Branch Avenue, Bloomington, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:30-12:50); Supper (6:00-6:20)
       
      Questions should be directed to the Food and Nutrition Services Office at 301-334-7652 or 888-262-2792.
       

      GCPS Central Office Closed Monday, March 16, 2020

      03/13/2020 at 4:05 pm
       
      The Central Office of Garrett County Public Schools will be closed Monday, March 16, 2020. The Central Office will reopen Tuesday morning, but will have limited access to the public.
       

      GCPS to Provide Meals for Students

      03/13/2020 at 2:58 pm
       
      Garrett County Public Schools will offer free meals to any child 18 and under beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Children must be present to receive a meal. The bag lunch meal will consist of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (yogurt or cheese sandwich available for children with peanut allergies), fruit cup, fresh fruit, fresh vegetable, and milk. The children can take the meal home to eat. The meals will be distributed at the following locations while GCPS schools are closed:
       
      Dennett Road School - 770 Dennett Road, Oakland, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:30-12:00)
       
      Liberty Mews - 451 Liberty Street, Oakland, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:00-11:20)
       
      Crellin - 57 Crellin Street, Crellin, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:35–11:55)
       
      Oakland Town Parking Lot - 103 Town Park Lane, Oakland, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:10–12:30)
       
      Deer Park - 198 Frank Custer Drive, Deer Park, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:45–1:05)
       
      Garrett County Chamber of Commerce - 15 Visitors Center Drive, McHenry, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (10:40–11:00)
       
      Hickory Environmental Center (Northern Middle’s bus loop) - 604 Pride Parkway, Accident, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:20–11:40)
       
      Friendsville Elementary School - 841 First Avenue, Friendsville, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:00–12:20)
       
      Grantsville Elementary School - 120 Grant Street, Grantsville, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:40–1:00)
       
      Loch Lynn - 319 Roanoke Avenue, Loch Lynn MD (pavilion)
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:00–11:20)
       
      Kitzmiller Community Park - 290 W. Main Street, Kitzmiller, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (11:45–12:05)
       
      Bloomington Park - 334 North Branch Avenue, Bloomington, MD
      Monday through Friday: Lunch (12:30–12:50)
       
      Any questions can be directed to the Food & Nutrition Services Office at 301-334-7652 or 888-262-2792.
       

      EMERGENCY MESSAGE

       
      3/12/2020 at 5:00 pm
       
      Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon announced today (March 12, 2020) that all Maryland schools must close in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. In light of this announcement, all GCPS schools will be closed starting March 16 until March 27, 2020. Additional information will be provided to the community shortly.
       

      Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC) Convention Cancelled

      March 12, 2020
       
      Due to the growing concern about the spread of COVID-19, Maryland Association of Student Councils (MASC) has decided to cancel the 2020 Spring Convention, originally scheduled for March 25-27th at the Clarion Fontainebleau Resort in Ocean City, MD. With so many counties canceling field trips, not approving large group gatherings, and not allowing spectators at many sporting events, MASC will follow suit and take the same precautions.
       
       

      FIRST Chesapeake Robotics Competitions

      March 12, 2020
       
      Just as with basketball, all upcoming Robotics competitions have been canceled or postponed as well.
       

      MPSSAA Basketball State Championships

      March 12, 2020
       
      Update
       
      The MPSSAA has just announced that the state basketball championships scheduled for March 12-14 have been postponed. Both the boys' and girls' games are affected by this postponement. No date has been set yet for the games.
       
      March 11, 2020
       
      The State Tournament will be closed to fans and non essentials. The game may be attended by parents and guardians. The Southern High Athletic Department will be working with both coaching staffs as well as the MPSSAA to ensure a smooth transition for our teams and our parents through this difficult situation.
      The Southern High Athletic Department will continue to update all with more information and will work with our parents.
       
      The MPSSAA is currently working to live stream all State Tournament games.
       
      Please view the Statement Regarding MPSSAA Basketball State Championships provided by the MPSSAA, Towson University, and the University of Maryland.
       

      GCPS Update on Coronavirus

      March 11, 2020
       
      Due to recent events regarding the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), in consultation with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), is advising that all scheduled out-of-state and international field trips sanctioned by local school systems for students and staff be cancelled indefinitely. Therefore, until further notice, Garrett County Public Schools will be cancelling out of state travel for all students and staff.
       
      At this time, the MSDE is not advising that local school systems cancel in-state field trips or athletic contests. Therefore, all in-state trips will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis until further notice. We will continue to conference daily (or more frequently as needed) with the Garrett County Health Department. Those daily briefings will guide decisions on travel and the possible closing of schools or the entire district.
       
      The health and safety of our school communities are paramount. We will continue to provide consistent communication and updates as we receive relevant information. At the current time, there are no confirmed cases in Garrett County or the surrounding areas. While the risk remains low for most populations, you can find more information at www.coronavirus.gov.
       
      Please know that we continue to plan for any possible closures. In addition, custodians in each school are deep cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas and classrooms every day. Our school nurses are working with Mrs. Becky Aiken, Nurse Manager, to closely monitor student health.
       

      GCPS Coronavirus Communication

      March 4, 2020
       
      Garrett County Public Schools are monitoring the evolving coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak and are in close communication with the state and local Health Departments. At present, there are no confirmed cases in our area. We are closely monitoring the situation and will act according to recommendations from public health officials. Many news networks have discussed measures to keep large groups of individuals from being in close contact, such as school closings and cancellation of sporting events and other activities. In addition, guidance and resources are being provided by a number of our partner agencies. Be assured that GCPS will immediately act on the recommendations of the Health Department and the Maryland State Department of Education should the need arise to close for an extended period of time or to cancel activities.
       
      In order to be proactive, Superintendent Barbara Baker is working with other districts and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to determine what measures can be taken to provide learning opportunities for students should schools be closed. In addition, when large numbers of students begin missing school due to illnesses, such as the influenza virus, the GCPS Operations department dispatches additional custodial staff to perform a deep cleaning of the affected areas of the school. Deep cleaning consists of wiping down all high contact areas such as desks, doorknobs, water fountains, and other high traffic areas with a disinfectant cleaner along with a complete spray down using a specialized piece of cleaning equipment. We will follow the same protocol to address the coronavirus as necessary.
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