Dear Hammond Students (and families),
I want to send a clear message that we are staying the course with virtual instruction this fall. This message is a follow-up to the statement that Dr. Martirano sent to our community last night, following the press conference by the Governor and State Superintendent. I want to assure you that, as previously announced, Howard County public schools will hold a virtual first semester. Careful plans are in place to ensure that every student will have a robust learning experience that is centered on live, teacher-led virtual instruction.
School staff returned to work on Tuesday, August 25, and have been taking part in intensive professional learning to prepare to welcome students back on Tuesday, September 8. Plans are being finalized to bring some students into school buildings in small groups to receive in-person supports, and details of those plans will be shared with you as soon as possible.
On October 22, the Superintendent and Board of Education will begin to evaluate plans for the second semester, and that discussion will be informed by our experiences during the initial weeks of school, the status of the pandemic at that time, and further guidance from the state and Howard County Health Department.
As you know, the conditions related to the pandemic are rapidly evolving, and I realize this can be a confusing time. I appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to ensure students have a safe and productive learning experience. Please be assured that school system leaders continue to hold the well-being of our children and staff members as the highest priority, and we are all looking forward eagerly to the day when we can welcome our students back to school in person.
John DiPaula, Ph.D.
Principal, Hammond High School