COVID-19 Response & Continuity of Learning Success - Issue 4

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Issue 4   |   June 3, 2020

Message from Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Schools

As we persist in this new “normal,” the examples below continue to demonstrate the resilience of our education communities.  Learning is alive and thriving throughout Maryland.  Again, I extend my wholehearted appreciation to the administrators, teachers, staff, parents and families who continue to engage our students with renewed creativity, dedication and enthusiasm.  I have particularly enjoyed seeing the different ways that school systems are celebrating the Class of 2020 – from parades on the Ocean City Boardwalk to broadcast partnerships with local media. These special tributes are so important to our students and their emotional and social learning, especially as we navigate these very challenging times. 

Thank you for building upon our State’s tradition of equity and excellence. Our education system stands up for the success and future of every one of our students.  We stand for equality and the eradication of racism, bigotry, hatred and violence in our society, and especially in our school systems.  We will not settle for less; we will never stand still.

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Honoring the Class of 2020: Stephen Decatur High School Hosts Parade on Ocean City Boardwalk

The Class of 2020 at Stephen Decatur High School received their diplomas in a memorable Graduation Procession at the iconic Ocean City Boardwalk. Members of the senior class rode with their families on the boardwalk in decorated vehicles to celebrate the completion of this stage in their lives.

The 2020 Seniors at Pocomoke High School were able to walk across the stage one by one this week to memorialize their graduation. The sun was shining on them as they received their diplomas with their close family watching from the bleachers.

Honoring the Class of 2020: Stephen Decatur High School Hosts Parade on Ocean City Boardwalk
Honoring the Class of 2020: Stephen Decatur High School Hosts Parade on Ocean City Boardwalk


Special Outreach to English Learners During Distance Learning

The ESOL Team hand-packed and delivered a Family Resource Bag to each and every one of the 400 English Learners in grades PreK-12!  All deliveries were conducted in a safe, no-contact manner over the course of two days. Local funding was used to support these efforts.

Each bag included:

  • Two-page family resource/activity guide created by the team and translated into Spanish; the goal was to provide fun, engaging cross-curricular easy activities for families to do together
  • Basic school supplies (dry erase board/markers, colored and regular pencils, notebook, crayons, books, paper, and other misc. resources)
  • TI83 or 84 for high school students who needed one to engage with paper learning packets (collaborating with the math supervisor to obtain the devices)
  • All secondary newcomers also received a self-paced grammar book.
Special Outreach to English Learners During Distanced Learning


The Art of Dance: High School Students And Middle School Students Earn All-County Dance Honors

Twenty-six Anne Arundel County Public Schools high school students and 32 AACPS middle school students have earned 2020-2021 All-County Dance honors for their efforts.

All-County dancers are selected by dance company directors at their schools. To qualify, dancers must perform at an advanced level, show leadership ability, maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher through the third marking period of this school year, have excellent attendance at school and at rehearsals, and have danced for their company for the entire year.

In addition to the 26 All-County honors and 32 middle school dancers were named All-County; 6 high school dancers were named Honorable Mention All-County; and nine middle school dancers were named Honorable Mention All-County.

Congratulations dancers!

Art of Dance: High School Students And Middle School Students Earn All-County Dance Honors



Two SCPS Students Awarded 2020 Ben Carson Scholarships

Zachary Gunter, 5th grade student at Carter G. Woodson Elementary and Ashawnti Buckner, 11th grade student at Washington High School & Academy, were recently awarded the Ben Carson Scholarship. Students must be nominated by their teacher in order to compete and only one student may be nominated from the entire school. To be eligible, they must show academic excellence and humanitarian qualities.

The Carson Scholars Fund awards $1,000 college scholarships to students in grades 4-11 who excel academically and are dedicated to serving their communities. Scholarship winners receive the honor of being named “Carson Scholars” and are awarded an Olympic-sized medal and a trophy for their school to celebrate their accomplishments. Carson Scholars must have a minimum GPA of 3.75 and display humanitarian qualities through community service.

Two SCPS Students Awarded 2020 Ben Carson Scholarships


Read more in the press release:

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Exploring Career Options: What's Next? How About Trade School?

Morgan Cox, Next Generation Scholars Coordinator and producer of the YouTube series of “Way to be at Home”

Morgan Cox, Next Generation Scholars Coordinator and producer of the YouTube series of “Way to be at Home” has kicked off a brand new series called “What’s Next.”

The “What’s Next” series is designed to help students think about what their options are after high school, specifically for students who may not be immediately considering the college route.

The first edition features Brad Plutschak, Guidance Counselor at Caroline Career and Technology Center and Mike Pannone, Commercial Sales Manager at Aircon Engineering, Inc. who discuss what trade school is and what’s it’s like to have a career in the trade field.

To learn all about trade school - skills, scholarships, and benefits - and how you can get started now with your career, view here.



CCPS Celebrates Maryland Seal of Biliteracy Recipients

Thirty-six seniors from Cecil County Public Schools (CCPS) are being awarded the 2020 Maryland Seal of Biliteracy. This distinguished award recognizes a student’s high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English and in one or more other languages. Students will receive their awards and medals in the mail and are being recognized on Cecil County Public Schools’ social media as well as at their school’s virtual senior award ceremonies.

CCSP Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeffrey Lawson stated, "The incredible accomplishment of these thirty-six students puts them in a class of only twenty-percent of their fellow Americans who are considered bilingual. “

The Maryland Seal of Biliteracy provides evidence to employers and colleges that these students have critical skills needed to engage, compete, and succeed in our local and global communities. This is the largest group of students earning the award since the county began awarding the Seal of Biliteracy in 2017.

Read more.

CCPS 2020 Seal of Biliteracy Recipients


Learn more about MSDE's COVID-19 resources: