COVID-19 Response & Continuity of Learning Success - Issue 6

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Issue 6   |   June 19, 2020

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

As we close out the school year, I applaud the outstanding efforts of administrators, educators, support staff, and parents for engaging children in learning during this historic pandemic. Special congratulations to our Class of 2020 graduating seniors and families who have had to sacrifice the traditional rites of passage associated with high school commencements with grace and maturity. Education is always a true partnership, and that is true more this year than ever before.

Over the summer break, I encourage families to continue to take advantage of learning resources offered through schools, libraries and other resources. Local systems across the State are making several summer opportunities available.

With schools closing for summer break, focus is now on the next school year. Last week MSDE released the second iteration of Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education.  It features a list of 13 requirements for local systems as Maryland moves forward in recovery:

  • Local school systems must have their recovery plans completed and posted to their websites by August 14, 2020. MSDE will review all local recovery plans to ensure that the plans include and address all requirements for opening schools.
  • Local school system’s equity plan must be reflected throughout the local recovery plans.
  • Local school systems must establish a recovery plan stakeholder group that is representative of their schools and community.
  • Schools must determine where their students are instructionally, identify the gaps in learning and prepare a path for instructional success and recovery.
  • All local school systems must ensure MD College and Career Ready Standards PreK-12 are taught in all content areas and State frameworks are followed for each content area.
  • Local school systems must follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Local school systems must follow procedures that are developed by MSDE in collaboration with the MD Department of Health and guidance from the CDC for an individual who tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Local school systems must follow safety protocols for collection of materials, cleaning of schools and other facilities, daily cleaning, and nutrition as established by MSDE in collaboration with the MD Department of Health and CDC guidance.
  • Local school systems must follow protocols for the safe transportation of students to and from schools.
  • Local school systems should develop a system for tracking attendance when students are engaged in distance learning.
  • Each local school system needs to develop its own plan for communication.
  • The COVID-19 checklist (Appendix A) must be utilized in the development of the recovery plan.
  • The Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association (MPSSAA) roadmap forward for interscholastic athletics and activities must align with the Maryland State Department of Education and the LSS educational and health and safety decisions in order for education-based athletics and activities to resume during Stage one and Stage two of the Governor’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.

We will continue to monitor conditions, and make decisions about fall openings later this summer.  Enjoy the summer break and stay safe and healthy!  




Anne Arundel County High Schools Host Digital Graduations as Part of Senior Celebration Plan

Anne Arundel County Public Schools moved graduation ceremonies online. Superintendent George Arlotto sent a letter to parents and students detailing the school system’s four-part plan to celebrate seniors.

Anne Arundel County High Schools Host Digital Graduations as Part of Senior Celebration Plan

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” AACPS High School Graduates share where their education is taking them!

Search #AACPSBeyondAwesome to see all of the submissions

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” AACPS High School Graduates share where their education is taking them!



Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) celebrate Career and College Signing Days! 

 Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) celebrate Career and College Signing Days!

Career Signing Day honors the students who have completed Career and Technical Education programs and will enter the workforce or military service after graduation.

Watch here:

GCPS Class of 2020: College Signing Day

PGCPS Class of 2020: College Signing Day

Prince George’s County Public School students tell us where they are headed next in their education journeys! #PGCPSSigningDay20

Watch here:



Caroline County Public Schools end-of-year digital art & music showcases

Caroline County Public Schools continue their commitment to the art with their end-of-year digital art & music showcases for your listening and viewing pleasure! Next up - Preston Elementary School Art Show. Enjoy!

#GrowCaroline   #MDArtsUnite

See the virtual art show at:

Caroline County Preston Elementary Art Show 2020



Student Teams from Southern High School Take First and Third in Maryland Stock Market Game Competition

Two student teams finished first and third in the State in the fall session of the Stock Market Game. The two teams were recently recognized in a Virtual Student Achievement Awards Program by the Maryland Council on Economic Education, the competition’s sponsor. All teams begin with an imaginary $100,000, and over a ten-week period, invest in corporations on the New York, American, and NASDAQ markets with the goal of increasing portfolio size. Student teams formulate daily decisions about the direction of the markets, make choices about buying or selling corporate stocks, and enter trades on the Internet. Excitement builds as teams receive their portfolio statement, which indicates ranking in comparison to all of the other teams in the Maryland/D.C. region, their school system, as well as the current value of their stocks.

Southern Garrett High School had 31 teams with 97 students participating in and benefiting from the game, learning investment skills, and increasing economic understanding of the markets. The Southern team, composed of Leah Wilt, Morgan White, and Brooke Rose, bested 700 other teams statewide with equity of $127,124.24. The team, comprised of Sam Robinette, Wyatt Alexander, and Bryson Alexander finished in third place in the State competition with equity of $123,764.90. Both teams will receive recognition at the state level. Those same teams also finished in first and second place in the North Region.

The Maryland Council on Economic Education (MCEE) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been training teachers and providing Maryland school systems with curriculum support for over 50 years. Information about the MCEE and MCFL can be found at: and

Student Teams from Southern High School Take First and Third in Maryland Stock Market Game Competition



Celebrate the Mouse: Biomedical Research Video Essay Contest

Carroll County Public Schools 6th grader Owen Hornung

Carroll County Public Schools is celebrating 6th grader Owen Hornung, on Team Supernova at West Middle School, who won 3rd place in the Celebrate the Mouse Biomedical Research Video Essay Contest.

This contest asks students to develop a creative, educational, and informative video essay.  It explains how they, a family member, friend, or pet, have benefited from medical discoveries made possible thanks to work conducted with mice in biomedical research.

Congratulations to Owen!

Carroll County Public Schools Celebrate the Mouse Biomedical Research Video Essay Contest

See more fun stuff and contests here:


Earn Credits While You Learn

MSDE Launches New Remote Learning Portal for Educators!    MSDE Remote Learning Portal for Educators


Teaching from a distance was a new experience for many educators. During the 2020 summer and in the future, various credit-bearing professional learning opportunities that address the “how tos” of distance learning will be available to Maryland teachers . After completing professional learning opportunities, access the Professional Learning Program for Maryland Educators to submit and request hourly points towards Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits.  Below are examples of credit-bearing opportunities:

  • PL for Remote Teaching Portal - Earn Credits While You Learn (always available)

During the pandemic, Maryland teachers were faced with delivering instruction remotely. After speaking to many educators about their experiences, MSDE identified the most challenging areas related to synchronous or blended teaching and learning. These areas range from instructional development and planning for remote teaching to more specific topics such as how to: communicate effectively with students and parents, meet the needs of EL students, provide accessible digital resources, design and conduct formative assessments, and more.

In response to these identified needs is the PL for Remote Teaching Portal. This portal offers more than 60 short supporting professional learning webinars/courses/activities that have been contributed by Maryland’s local school systems, individual educators, and quality educational organizations. Additional modules will be added as identified.

Using the Professional Learning Program for Maryland Educators  in conjunction with the portal will allow for the collection of hourly points to eventually convert into Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits. Please take advantage of this unique professional learning opportunity.  

  • June 29 – September 1 - Instructional Design Principles for Remote Teaching and Learning MOOC

(1 CPD) This free six week one-credit course offered by the Friday Institute has been customized for Maryland educators and will cover best practices, resources, and strategies for remote learning. It will be offered for free this summer.  Enroll today

  • July 13 – July 31 - ISTE’s Summer Learning Academy (1 CPD for $20.00)

ISTE’s new Summer Learning Academy seeks to address urgent needs. The Academy provides a learning experience for educators to learn about foundational online learning principles and how to engage students and ensure their needs can be met. Enroll today

  • Teachers throughout the school or district can participate in this academy which is anchored on these topics: Access, Engagement, Equity, Digital Citizenship, Formative Assessment, Learning Design

The Online Teaching in Maryland (3 CPDs) course is offered every semester to provide the pedagogy and content required for asynchronous instruction (this course is already running for the summer so enrollment is closed until the fall catalog is posted July 13). The Online Professional Learning Catalog can be found on MSDE’s eConnect entry page (

Maryland Students Participate in 2020 Virtual National Youth Science Camp

National Youth Science Camp

Nadine Meister of Centennial High School (Howard County) and Catherine Elizabeth Russell of South River High School (Anne Arundel County) were selected and participated in the 2020 Virtual National Youth Science Camp.

Out of an abundance of caution in response to the COVID-19 national health crisis, the National Youth Science Foundation cancelled the in-residence portion of the 2020 National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp). Held in West Virginia since 1963, this is only the second time that the annual program has not been held in the Mountain State.

The 2020 NYSCamp was held virtually and featured a lecture series, directed studies, breakout seminars, special events, and a panel discussion with STEM policy experts. NYSCamp Director, Dr. Brian Kinghorn, noted that, “these NYSCamp delegates are some of the best and brightest STEM students from across the nation and deserve to be recognized for their potential for leadership and achievements. The virtual camp provided them with opportunities to interact with STEM experts, build lasting friendships, and get a jump start on changing the world for good.”

Topics ranged from exploring and understanding the vastness of space to the microcosms of potential COVID-19 treatments. Delegates have explored the wonders of mathematics, the powerful potential of technology for education, adventures of paleontology, cutting edge neuroscience research, and the varied possibilities of shaping STEM policy.

Maryland National Youth Science Camp Attendees, Nadine Meister of Centennial High School and Catherine Elizabeth Russell of South River High School.


Learn more about MSDE's COVID-19 resources: