COVID-19 Response & Continuity of Learning Success - Issue 9

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Issue 9   |   July 10, 2020

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

At MSDE, we believe that learning is a lifelong process  for all of us: our students, families, educators and administrators. Just as local systems are offering exciting summer curriculum opportunities, the MSDE Division of Curriculum, Instructional Improvement, and Professional Learning offers diverse professional learning opportunities for teachers every summer. One annual opportunity is the Regional Summer Workshop Series. Content offices curate workshops based on the needs identified by local school system leaders. 

Due to COVID-19, the courses are being moved to a virtual format. Because of significant shifts in instructional methods and the impact of current events, the local school system content supervisors identified multiple areas of interest for summer professional learning including:

  • Social-Emotional learning

  • Equity and Social Justice

  • Virtual Pedagogy 

  • Family and Community Engagement

  • Culturally-Responsive Pedagogy

Based on the feedback received from the local school systems, the division worked collaboratively to plan a virtual workshop series to cover these critical areas of focus. 

One of the courses offered, Equity and Justice, is a primer workshop for educators looking to take ownership of key terminology to launch them into a deeper understanding of educational equity, bias, and inclusion. This course is being facilitated by MSDE’s Coordinator of Fine Arts Alysia Lee.

MSDE and Arts Education in Maryland Schools have partnered to fund the virtual workshop series using Title II, Part A funds, and funding from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The courses are free, and educators may sign up for them at: 


Dundalk High School's Josh Muhumuza, Student Member of the Board of Education

Dundalk High School's Josh Muhumuza was sworn in as the new Student Member of the Board of Education of Baltimore County. He will serve a one-year term in this role as the voice of students throughout the county. He replaces recent Pikesville High graduate Omer Reshid. A warm welcome to Josh. Yesterday Josh hosted an Instagram Live watch party on (@teambcps)  “A Conversation on Race and Racism in America and Baltimore County Public Schools.” The first-of-its-kind virtual event was held online on Wednesday, July 8, from 4 – 6 p.m., and simulcast over several platforms including BCPS-TV. Moderated by BCPS staff, the discussion featured discussions with diverse students, teachers, school leaders, and community members.

Dundalk High School's Josh Muhumuza new Student Member of the Board of Education of Baltimore County



Three-Sport Athlete is Catonsville/Arbutus Times Female Co-Athlete of the Year!

Congratulations to Catonsville High's Kolby Weedon, who was named the Catonsville/Arbutus Times Female co-Athlete of the Year. Kolby played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse at Catonsville High and plans to play lacrosse at Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania.

Three-sport athlete Kolby Weedon is Catonsville/Arbutus Times Female co-Athlete of the Year



Virtual Summer STEM Challenge

Families visiting the Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School meal site this summer will be able to feed their minds with STEM challenges aimed at preventing the “summer slide.”

Every other week until Aug. 13, the school, which is collaborating the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Title I office, will give out supplies for a Virtual Summer STEM Challenge, an activity that allows children in kindergarten through fifth grade the opportunity to use creativity, critical thinking and engineering skills.

To read more, go to

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Title I office, will give out supplies for a Virtual Summer STEM Challenge


Fifth-Grader wins Essay Contest on State and National Level!

Amanda Holotik 5th grader at South Dorchester School,

What a proud Fourth of July for Amanda Holotik! The South Dorchester School 5th grader found out this week that her essay, “How Can We Address the Health and Well-Being of Our Veterans, Military, and their Families?” was a winner in the national level of the American Legion Auxiliary’s annual Americanism contest. She won first place for her age group at the state level. She will receive a monetary prize, and a donation will be made in her name to the American Legion Auxiliary’s Children of Warriors National President’s Scholarship fund. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement, Mandy! To celebrate this most American of holidays, here is Mandy's winning essay.


Amanda Holotik! The South Dorchester School 5th grader found out this week that her essay



Superintendent’s Summer Book Selection!

Take a look at the latest #FCPSOfftheCuff with guest blogger Rachel Eversole, FCPS Coordinator of Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Find out why she endorses the Superintendent’s Summer Book Club selection, Eyes Are Never Quiet: Listening Beneath the Behaviors of Our Most Troubled Students.




Free Tutoring!

Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) is offering free tutoring for students

HCPS is offering free tutoring for students who were enrolled in grades Pre-K through 12 during the 2019-2020 school year. Tutors are comprised of HCPS certified teachers and tutoring sessions will be one-on-one. Parents/Guardians may sign their students up for multiple tutoring sessions for various content needs. These tutoring sessions will utilize itsLearning and Microsoft Teams for a personalized learning experience.

Parents/Guardians may obtain more information and sign-up via the link on our Summer Tutoring page on

Registration will remain open until Friday, July 31, 2020. For those without internet access, please call the COVID-19 hotline at (410) 809-6336 and leave a message. A support staff member will return your call as soon as possible.


Congratulations to HCPS’s Six Recently Honored 2020 Maryland Green Schools!

Cradlerock, Ducketts Lane, Rockburn, Talbott Springs and Waterloo elementary schools, and Clarksville Middle School earned recertification. Additionally, Lime Kiln Middle School and Reservoir High School were named Sustainable Schools. These schools have earned recertification four times and have therefore been designated as Green Schools for over 16 continuous years.

HCPSS has a total of 44 schools that have earned the Maryland Green Schools certification since the program began in 1985. The schools engaged in educational opportunities that increase awareness and understanding of environmental relationships that impact public health and the local community. The Green Schools certification signifies that these schools have made a commitment to developing environmental stewards and reducing environmental impact.

Check out this Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education video for more!

Howard County Public Schools students holding banner Maryland Green Schools certification



KCPS Summer KEEP Camp (Kent Exploration and Enrichment Program) 

KCPS Summer KEEP Camp (Kent Exploration and Enrichment Program) started off strong the week of June 29th with virtual activities for our students! KCPS students in grades 1-8 join ZOOM sessions with teachers, instructional assistants, and community partners. On June 24th KCPS campers received a generous box of resources and art supplies to promote learning and creativity at home. The supplies were packed and delivered with care by the summer staff.

From June 29 through July 30th students will learn essential math and ELA state standards/concepts to help accelerate academic learning. They will also have the opportunity to attend virtual field trips and clubs with community partners. Some of these include: the Sultana Education Center, Echo Hill Outdoor School, Sassafras Environmental Education Center (SEEC), Washington College, University of Maryland Extension, Kids Spot, Turtle Dance Music, Kent County Public Library, Fit with Aundra, Fit Flock, the local illustrator Robbi Behr and writer Matthew Swanson, and donations form the Kent Cultural Alliance.

KCPS Summer KEEP Camp (Kent Exploration and Enrichment Program)



Spending Time Outdoors this Summer?

Join Planetarium Patty in the virtual Howard B. Owens Science Center planetarium for a weekly peek into nightly and early morning wonders to check out in the sky over Prince George's County!

Planetarium Patty in the virtual Howard B. Owens Science Center planetarium



Have You Ever Wanted to Visit Some of the United States' Beautiful National Parks?

Well, now you can via virtual field trips. Visit Grand Canyon National Park, Glacier National Park and Everglades National Park by visiting:

Have fun!

Grand Canyon National Park


More Fun and Informative Summer Activities!

The WCPS Environmental Literacy, Planetarium, and STEM Team has compiled fun and informative activities that students in grades Pre-K through 12 can enjoy! This week's theme is "STEM Solutions for Saving the Environment".

To download the activity sheet, please visit:

Rowing in a lake



CBS News Anchor Mom Retires after 41 Years of Service!

Congratulations to South Hagerstown High School's Gail Felice, who is retiring after 41 years in education. Her son, CBS News co-anchor Tony Dokoupil, shared some lovely remarks about his mom on CBS This Morning!

Watch the clip here:

CBS News co-anchor Tony Dokoupil, shared some lovely remarks about his mom, Gail Felice on CBS This MorningCBS News co-anchor Tony Dokoupil, shared some lovely remarks about his mom on CBS This Morning 07 2020


Summer Learning Social and Emotional Learning!

Summer Learning Social and Emotional Learning!

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of a child's education. Take a look at the smore below, which provides activities and tips for building and expressing emotional skills.




What's Happening Now on the Wicomico Summer Fun Website?

Check out  Wicomico’s Science page to see WBOC-TV meteorologist Mike Lichniak talk about “A Day in the Life of a Meteorologist” for our 3rd-5th grade Weather theme week, and “Dangerous Weather we could see on Delmarva” for our 1st – 2nd grade Natural Disasters theme week.

Be sure to keep visiting every week for BRAND new FREE hands-on activities in Art, Virtual Field Trips, Music, Cooking, Fitness, Reading, Math, Science, Destination Imagination Instant Challenges, Family Game Night, Exploring our World, Mindfulness, and more! If you’re a Wicomico County student be sure to enter your information after you complete an activity for a chance to win one of our several weekly raffle prizes!

Wicomico County Virtual Summer Fun Program 2020


More "Summer Fun" from WCPS!

It's a Virtual Summer Fun Program for children ages birth to five years old in Wicomico County starting July 13th!

- Featuring teachers hosting virtual "instructional" interaction time

- Themes and fun family projects for children ages 0-5

- Virtual extracurricular activities by several outside vendors

- A chance for any child in Wicomico County to receive a prize each week

- Plus Instructional material for children in the Beaver Run and the Pemberton catchment area.

Watch this video for more exciting details and information!!!



WCPS Staff Member Nominated as a 2020 Census Champion!

Worcester County Public Schools Communication Technology Assistant, Jordyn Kuczak, has been nominated as a 2020 Census Champion for Worcester County. She is an education representative on Worcester's Complete Count Committee who created various marketing materials for the Worcester Census in efforts to get everyone counted! 

Worcester County Public Schools Communication Technology Assistant, Jordyn Kuczak minated as a 2020 Census Champion!


Learn more about MSDE's COVID-19 resources: