Update from Dr. Sovine on School Closings

March 13, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided school divisions with guidance on when to consider closing schools due to COVID-19. The three areas to consider when determining whether to close schools include: (1) a school-based COVID-19 case; (2) significant student and staff absences; and (3) a larger community mitigation strategy undertaken in collaboration with the local health department. Frederick County Public Schools currently does not meet any of these criteria, but we have decided to close schools beginning Monday, March 16 due to growing parent and community concerns. Schools will remain closed through March 27 with the understanding that the closure may be extended. All school and extracurricular activities have also been cancelled through March 27. Twelve-month employees and essential staff are to report to work during the closure unless advised to do otherwise. Teachers and other professional staff are to report to work on Friday, March 20, in order to receive training and plan to provide students with online learning opportunities.

Students will not have to worry about participating in online learning experiences next week. However, we will be communicating with families about the opportunities that we plan to offer beginning during the second week of our closure. We recognize that some of our families do not have access to high-speed Internet service and that is being taken into consideration as we continue to refine our distance learning plans.

As our community addresses COVID-19, we ask that you continue to practice good personal health habits such as washing your hands frequently, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and other measures that help prevent the spread of illness.

As this situation continues to evolve, we will keep you updated through a variety of communication platforms including the FCPS Rapid Communication System, the school division’s Facebook page and our website. Detailed information about COVID-19 and the school division’s response to the outbreak is available at http://bit.ly/FCPSCOVID19. Thank you for your patience as we continue to monitor and address this challenging situation.

Dr. David T. Sovine
Superintendent of Schools