At the Board of Education meeting on January 11, 2022, Superintendent Barbara Baker and Chief Academic Officer Nicole Miller presented the Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) Inclement Weather Plan for Virtual Learning Days. This plan was approved by the Board of Education and was then submitted to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for review. We have since received notification that the plan has been approved by MSDE.
The key components of this plan as required by MSDE include:
- A minimum of four (4) hours of synchronous instruction for all students
- Attendance protocols and requirements for all students and teachers
- Opportunities for students to make up missed work on Virtual Learning Days
- Posting of the Virtual Inclement Weather Day Plan on the district website
- Utilizing Virtual Learning Days will allow for an additional day of instruction-which will help meet the required 180-day benchmark. In turn, this will also reduce the number of make-up days needed in the school year, generally at the end of the year.
GCPS has a 1:1 ratio for devices that will be used at home for Virtual Learning Days. Any student or staff member without Internet access, or with inadequate Internet access, will be provided with a hotspot. If a student’s home is located where there is no Internet access and a hotspot will not work, an alternative paper option will be provided for them, as identified by the school administration. Anyone experiencing technical difficulties on a virtual learning day may call the IT Helpdesk at 1-888-285-7254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
GCPS will inform schools and community members with as much notice as possible the day before a virtual learning day is to be implemented via all current media outlets. The announcement will indicate that GCPS will be moving to a Virtual Learning Day. Schools will communicate the plan, including any school specific-details, with school staff, students and parents.
Virtual Learning Days will be utilized effective immediately (as needed). It is also important to note that GCPS will still have traditional “snow days,” delayed openings, and early dismissals when virtual learning days are not possible. Please note, all delayed openings will be in-person learning.
To review the plan in further detail, please visit https://www.garrettcountyschools.org/public-information/inclement-weather-plan.