Skip to main content

Summer meals with KCPS logo and lunchbag graphic
Kent County Public Schools is offering free summer meals for all children 18 years of age and younger. As part of the schools' efforts to ensure that children have access to healthy food during the summer months, breakfasts and lunches will be available at no charge for children. No application is required. Children do not have to be enrolled in Kent County Public Schools. Menus and more information is available at https://www.kent.k12.md.us/SchoolMenus.aspx.
Voice Recognition
Select Language 
                      

COVID Reopening Plan

Photo of media center, students with KCHS mascot and the KCPS logo – with link


KENT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL REOPENING PLAN 2023-24

Kent County Public Schools is devoted to staying firmly anchored in excellence. We remain deeply committed to ensuring that every child receives a quality education that promotes equity, rigorous and engaging curriculum, and offers a safe and nurturing learning environment. Kent County Public Schools has taken careful consideration in developing the reopening plan for our district. The instructional models will depend on which Phase of Reopening is permitted.  
 
Each model has been thoroughly reviewed and has included input from stakeholder groups and then reviewed by taskforce groups to ensure the following:
• Promoting the safety, welfare, and health of students, employees, and families.
• Mitigate educational inequities by creating structures and supports that respond to challenges faced by various populations as informed by data
• Providing high quality teaching and learning to all students. 
• Prioritizing the social-emotional well-being of students and staff.

(Revised: 9/17/2020; 10/22/2020; 1/12/2021; 7/21/21; 8/18/21; 9/16/21; 7/14/22; 12/7/2022; 1/31/23; 6/14/23)




Continuity of Learning

In March of 2020, all Maryland Schools were required to close and provide only remote learning for all students due to the outbreak of Covid-19. The remainder of the 2019-20 school year students engaged in learning that was articulated in our KCPS Continuity of Learning Plan. The design of this plan was to resume instruction for students as quickly and effectively as possible. The plan was not intended to be long-term, or replace traditional teaching but designed to support families and students in a very tumultuous time. While our preferred model of instruction is face to face, we recognize that there may be continued public health restrictions at times. The purpose of this plan is to outline KCPS’ commitment to provide the greatest amount of face to face learning, while also taking careful steps to consider the health, safety and well-being of our staff, students and community. This plan recognizes that there may be shifts between our learning models depending on the Phase of Reopening of the state of Maryland and CDC guidelines and outlines our plans as adjustments require.




Coordination and Communication

KCPS Superintendent Dr. KarenCouch is the communication officer. She works in collaboration with the Central Management Team (CMT) and principals to direct public communications, and address inquiries from parents, media, and the general public. We believe the KCPS plan for reopening will be better supported if communications are integrated from the outset.

Coordination Icon
STAKEHOLDER GROUPS AND COORDINATION OF COMMUNICATION

Requirement: Kent County Public Schools established a Recovery Plan stakeholder group that is representative of our schools and our district.
Requirement: Kent County Public Schools has developed their own plan for communication.

KCPS has engaged with stakeholder groups through the use of surveys to families in order to elicit input on various models of instruction. KCPS has presented plans for Board of Education input and has created Stakeholder groups through our taskforce members to help develop a recovery plan. The full KCPS Communication Plan and Response to COVID-19 Plan can be accessed through the following links: KCPS Communication Plan.

KCPS will support families and staff in planning for remote learning through both traditional and new outreach strategies. Staff will reach out to families with a back-to-school campaign using multiple and ongoing strategies including automated messages, informational events, and by providing practical tips through emails, facebook and through parent networks. 

These supports will include remote learning tips, access to learning materials including technology, tech support, and family health education (e.g., COVID-19, mental health).  

The following Kent County key messages reflect the guiding principles of the school system recovery plan. These messages are a reference point for all communication: 
• We will create a safe, inclusive culture that meets the social and emotional needs of all students.
• Students will have equitable access to rigorous instruction aligned to MCCRS. 
• Student and staff recent experiences with distance learning have informed the reopening planning. 
• Teachers and support staff will have access to professional learning to support optimal student outcomes.
• We are moving fast and we must stay flexible; we will explore, reflect, and acquire new knowledge to ensure continuous improvements are achieved.
 
Magnifying glass icon
KCPS will develop and maintain positive, collaborative relationships with all stakeholders to strengthen support for KCPS. KCPS will utilize a variety of communication tools to meet individual family needs.

 


Key Dates

2020
Sept. 8: Remote learning will begin for students, K-6, 9
Sept. 9:  Remote learning for students K-12
Sept. 10: Remote learning will begin for students  Pre-K
Sept. 21: Tier 3 students returned.
Oct. 5: Pre-K Hybrid (all elementary schools)
Oct. 12: some elementary high needs students returned 4 days per week
Oct. 19: Rock Hall Elementary Hybrid (Grades PK-5); KCMS Hybrid grades 6-8 (4 x per week) with 50% remaining virtual; KCHS CTE Hybrid
Oct. 26: Garnet Elementary Hybrid begins grades  3-5
Nov. 2: Galena Elementary Hybrid begins grades 3-5
Nov. 9: Garnet Elementary Hybrid begins grades K-2
Nov. 16: Galena Elementary Hybrid begins grades K-2

2021
Jan. 29: If it is safe to do so, KCPS will implement a hybrid instructional model with in-person and fully remote learning. Fully remote learning will remain an option for parents grades 9-12.
Feb. 4: KCPS resumed fully face-to-face instruction 4 days a week for all students for the remainder of the school year for those  who desired to return. Remote learning was still available through the end of the school year for families who chose this option.
September: KCPS plans to reopen in a traditional fully face to face schedule.

2022
February: 6-month review of reopen plan with stakeholder groups.
July: 6-month review of reopen plan with stakeholder groups.
Dec. 13: 6-month review of plan with stakeholder groups.

2023
July 10: 6-month review of plan with stakeholder groups.




Task Force Committees

Safety/Return to Play
Chairs: Brenda Rose, Vandrick Hamlin
Members: Susan Glenn, Kevin Taylor, Jill Coleman, Raye Jones, Vienna Walker, Maureen Ranville, Becky Yoder, Anna Farragher

Instruction
Chair: Kris Hemstetter
Members: Caren Saunders, Jen Fithian, Stephanie Spencer, Angie Holocker, Katelyn Boardman, Aimee Boumiea, Wendy Keen, Mark Buckel, Erika Costa-Gooding, Nicole Boyce

Operations
Chairs: Joe Wheeler, Alleesa Stewart
Members: Bill Poore, Michelle Atkinson, Harold Somerville, Ivette Martinez, Jim Bish, John Keller

Parent and staff survey results were used to inform committee recommendation.




Technology

Tree with app logos

ACCESS AND ACCOUNTABILITY
In order to ensure equitable learning for all students, whether face to face or remote, KCPS has increased Wifi Hotspots at all school building parking lots as well as added mobile hotspots to school buses which can travel to locations as needed. KCPS is 1:1 pre-k through grade 12 with devices and in partnership with the local government’s IT department has extended the existing fiber network, offered additional hotspots throughout the county, and identified high need areas. At the start of the 2021 school year, KCPS staff will use screeners to determine where students are instructionally, identify the gaps in learning, and prepare a learning plan for success.

INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY
Through Schoology, teachers will be able to utilize resources to engage students and customize learning for students and families. KCPS has also implemented Edulastic to support formative assessment and to identify critical areas in math and reading.

LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
KCPS has recently shifted to a single digital platform for grades pre-k through twelve. The  Schoology Learning Management System will be utilized by all staff, students, and families in the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year.  This new LMS allows for digital teaching, grading, communication, and remote learning on one platform. 
KCPS plans to continue the use of Schoology for the 2022-2023 school year in school and during inclement weather virtual days.

DIGITAL TOOLS
KCPS has a variety of vetting digital tools that have existed over the past few years and were added during digital learning in the spring of 2020. The comprehensive list of digital tools can be found on the following document: KCPS Online Resources and Tools.

Magnifying glass icon
Ensuring that all students have equal access to technology and internet services is a top priority of KCPS.




Assessment, Curriculum and Scheduling Considerations

Collection of school-related icons

Among those students whose needs demand equity are our students who are disproportionately impacted by the structural inequities, students with disabilities, English learners, students who are living in an experiencing poverty, and students with limited engagement during the transition from virtual to hybrid classes in the 2020-21 school year. Additional consideration will continue to be given to students at the transitional grade levels: Kindergarten, Grade 6,and Grade 9, as well as gifted and talented students. 

Subcommittees will work to make sure that the following are kept in mind: 
• Providing every student with equitable access to the educational rigor, resources & support
• Academic Success
• Social-emotional well-being
• Eliminating any obstacles students may have to access educational opportunities
• Applying an equity lens as we implement every aspect of our transition plan
• Identifying and addressing the impact on all students with a strategic focus on marginalized student groups.
 
Additional small group instruction/support sessions will be provided to identified students in order to meet their need for additional academic or social-emotional support. Moreover, each school will provide additional learning opportunities based on needs as identified by the schools. These extended learning opportunities may include one-on-one and/or small group instructional support from teachers and instructional assistants, either remotely or site based.  
 
As the school year progresses, Instructional Equity Walks will be an effective component of our holistic approach to equity at the district level. Through this practice, KCPS will gather and review evidence of equitable educational practices that will guide and shape future equity practices. Communication of intervention and programmatic changes will be communicated to parents and community members. See the KCPS Implementation Guide.
 
The KCPS Equity and Excellence in Education Committee is working to finalize the local Equity and Excellence: A Guide to Educational Equity in Kent County Public Schools. This guide will have four focus areas that will guide the creation of a more equitable education system in Kent County. The four focus areas are Academic Achievement and Growth, Leadership and Human Capital, School Climate and Culture and Educator and Staff Capacity.

INTERVENTIONS AND TARGETED TUTORING AND GIFTED AND TALENTED
KCPS offers services to students based on a multi-tiered system of support. These supports begin with students receiving supplemental support in the general education setting, and based on need, may require additional supplemental instruction in small groups or individually at varying levels of intensity in order to provide explicit instruction on content below grade level standards. KCPS students who need further instructional support may participate in an approved intervention program. Tutoring options will be available to address learning gaps and accelerate learning. Student Support Teams (SST) will consider what data should be reviewed to determine if intervention groupings should be shifted or work with teachers to assess the group to determine if the intervention plan is moving forward. Interventionists in Title I schools and classroom teachers will work together to identify students in need of intensive interventions throughout the week to continue the frequency and intensity of the interventions. KCPS will continue to offer gifted and talented students opportunities for enrichment and acceleration through early entry into Kindergarten if qualified, small group instruction, as well as Advanced Placement courses, dual enrollment, STEM and APEX course options.

CURRICULUM PLAN
Requirement: MD College and Career Ready Standards pre-K-12 will be taught in all content areas and the State Frameworks are followed for each content.
Kent County Public Schools  will ensure that all MD College and Career Ready standards (MDCCRS) from pre-k through grade 12 are taught in all areas and that the frameworks for each content are followed based on guidance from MSDE frameworks and resources. KCPS will administer common local assessments by grade-band and/or course to determine where students are instructionally and identify gaps in learning in order to prepare a path for instructional success and recovery. KCPS administrators will continue working with teacher leaders to streamline curriculum to prioritize content for each KCPS course. Curriculum, instruction, and assessment will align with Maryland College and Career Ready Standards as well as PE and Health curriculum K-12 and World Language in middle and high school. Course offering guides have not changed and articulate course requirements and expectations to families and students. Time allotted for all contents is reflected in all schools master schedules and expectations and professional learning will begin on Aug. 31, 2021 to reorient teachers. 

Magnifying glass icon
See Program of Study Guide: KCHS Program of Study
See Assessment Schedule Link: KCPS Assessment 

ASSESSMENT PLAN
Requirement: Early in the school year, KCPS staff will determine where their students are instructionally, identify the learning gaps, and prepare a path for instructional success and recovery.
KCPS recognizes that despite our best efforts to engage all students during the Covid-19 Pandemic, many students experienced challenges that have taken a toll on their learning progress. We know this loss of learning was most critical for those who were already experiencing learning gaps prior to the closure of schools, but we also recognize significant learning gaps for students who were on grade level. In order to plan instruction targeting these learning gaps and decrease significant learning loss, KCPS plans to implement a comprehensive assessment plan in September to diagnose learning gaps and accelerate learning. KCPS utilizes NWEA MAP Assessment data and follows an analysis protocol to determine readiness for the upcoming school year. Intervention strategies and remediation will be redesigned to accelerate student learning in order to engage in grade level standards. Teachers will engage in professional development to learn how to best address learning gaps through best practices, differentiated instruction, grade level standards, and respond to the social, emotional, and cultural needs of our student body. We will scaffold instruction based on data in order to determine standards, and implement the best model for curriculum development.

Diagnostic tasks administered to determine learning loss to inform interventions and for progress monitoring.
Local systemic reading assessments will be provided to students in kindergarten through grade 8 to determine students’ independent reading ability. 

Content supervisors and coordinators will work with teachers to determine appropriate assessments to identify student learning gaps and how to address any gaps. This may occur through formative assessment strategies such as observations of students, remote representations, student feedback, summaries, self-assessment, or short quizzes. 

In many courses, students will complete local benchmark, unit, topic, or performance-based assessment that will inform the teacher of the student’s mastery of the standards measured. 

Results of the assessments will prepare a path for instructional success and recovery.

KCPS will utilize assessment data to frequently monitor and adjust instruction and attend to learning gaps to provide equitable access to rigorous learning experiences.




Professional Learning for Staff

Icons of old books

Kent County Public Schools is committed to continuous support and professional development for teachers and staff  in order to enhance the quality of instruction provided in a variety of ways to fully support all students, regardless of their preferred learning environment (face to face or virtual). We recognize that the social and emotional well-being of our faculty and staff is  vital to ensuring that all students' academic needs are met and that we are supporting students to become resilient.  We understand the importance of supporting our teachers in order to build a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration.  During Summer 2020, professional learning experiences were available for teachers and administrators. Targeted competencies in Digital Teaching and Learning will be the focus. KCPS also plans to ensure that we build and support strong instructional teams in all of our buildings to support their efforts in supporting students and bridging learning gaps.

During the 2020-2021 school year, intentional professional learning was provided to all teachers with extensive enhanced knowledge of Schoology, the Kent County Public Schools learning management system. Professional learning modules were provided in synchronous and asynchronous formats. KCPS offers ongoing professional development that builds cultural responsiveness and addresses identified areas of inequity.

For the 2022-2023 school year, professional learning will continue to support the Kent County Public School Strategic Plan.   Face to face PD will support teacher learning with a focus on strong Tier 1 strategies and practices as well as supporting our intervention programs. Common formative assessments and using data to differentiate will also be an area of focus.

During the summer of 2021, KCPS redesigned the New Teacher Induction Program. One of the biggest shifts in our program will be related to new teacher mentors. In the past, retired teachers have served in this role, the new shift will provide an opportunity for teacher leaders within the school building to support new teachers in their practice through ongoing cycles of observation, reflection and feedback. We will continue face-to-face orientation in August of 2022.




Monitoring Progress and Grading

A+ graphic

PROVIDING STUDENT FEEDBACK AND GRADING
KCPS has fully returned to using the grading policy and procedure, 600-5 that was last revised in October of 2019.
 
KCPS will continue to focus on equitable grading practices. Content teams will continue to identify opportunities for project-based learning and assessment, when feasible. Timely feedback remains an integral form of communication as to whether students are meeting the expectations and mastery of content standards. Teachers will continue to monitor informally to provide oral and written feedback through the learning process.
 
Report Card comments were updated for secondary students during the pandemic in December of 2020 to include comments in the following categories:
• Attendance
• Interpersonal relationships
• Assessments
• Assignments
• Responsibility




Student Services and Emotional Support

Stick figures on stairs

Magnifying glass icon
Resources for social-emotional support will be accessible to families and staff to create supportive learning environments.
 
ATTENDANCE
Requirement: Kent County Public Schools will establish a system for tracking attendance when students are engaged in distance learning.
 
We are returning to our attendance procedures last updated in June 2022 with a few exceptions not in the procedure. These practices will be communicated with families along with the revised procedure. The exception is COVID-19 absences and asynchronous instruction. A student home with COVID-19 or in quarantine will be marked with an absence code until documentation is provided to the attendance office. The student that is too ill to complete assignments due to COVID-19 will be coded M for Medical Exclusion, code 17. The student that completes their assignments will be coded with a VO. This is a present code. Teachers will continue to post assignments in Schoology or provide paper packets.
 
For synchronous days, students will be expected to be present for instruction to be counted present. If a student is unable to login in, the student will be able to make-up their work. For asynchronous days, a student must complete the assignment within the deadline set for the class in order to be counted as present. 
 
During the pandemic and last year, the number of truancy cases remains at an increase. Our current attendance rates are slowly recovering but are not as high as they were in 2019 before the pandemic.

Our truancy interventionist and court liaison have continued to provide our most chronic families with pre-court meetings to offer and connect community resources through our local care team to combat root causes to the attendance issues.  Pre-Court conferences are individualized and occur before students are referred to court. The court handled 75 cases this year and 27 of these cases will carry over to the 2022-23 school year. Thirty six (36) cases were solved successfully this school year. School level meetings occur bi-weekly with school counselors and attendance secretaries to remain proactive in communicating with students and families when an absence is at three or more days without contact or notes in a quarter.
 
Magnifying glass icon
If KCPS should return to remote or hybrid instruction, previous attendance protocols will be implemented.
 
TRAUMA, SOCIAL EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
Every effort will be made to continue to reconnect, support, and build relationships between the staff, students and families. KCPS has embraced the importance of social emotional learning, trauma informed instruction, positive behavior supports, and responsive classrooms in this journey.
 
As we move into the 2022-23 school year, KCPS will continue to focus on building these skills beyond the counselors, social workers, school psychologist and administrative staff down to the classroom level. While we made great strides over the past two years in working with classroom staff, we are still working toward getting staff competent in not only recognizing trauma and its effects on the body and mind but building classroom expectations that support closing the social emotional gap and addressing the mental health needs of students.
 
We will continue to:
• Host parent nights with the help of consultant Sam Drazin (Changing Perspectives) throughout the year,
• Provide Wrap Around Services with the help of our Local Care Team
• Morning Meetings will continue to support Tier 1 instruction using Changing Perspectives, Second Step, Positive Action and Navigator 360 curriculum.
• Counselors and school social workers will continue to counsel small groups and individuals to support Tier 2 and 3 needs
We will be focusing our professional development in the following areas:
• Restorative Practices that support and align with the previous positive behavior supports. School teams will have the opportunity to receive two days training to strengthen their understanding of restorative approaches in engaging and building relationships using circles to build trust. Staff will put into practice social discipline fair practices in the school and classroom. These teams will help to train others in their schools.
• Responsive Classroom core training will support teachers in learning strategies for effective classroom management and to create an environment to help students to close the emotional skills gap needed to success in their academics and social skills.
• All school personnel will receive initial or refresher training in the ALICE protocol and school crisis teams will receive training on the CSTAG behavior threat assessment tool. While we received training on the CARE2 behavior threat assessment tool, many of our student services team find it ineffective in many scenarios. Training has been received on the RISK2 tool and we will continue to use this in the coming year.
• Youth Mental Health First Aid is being offered this summer but currently only a few teachers have taken advantage of this opportunity. Again, this is a training we will continue to make available.
• School teams were trained in July for Polly Bath training to complement the restorative approaches and responsive classroom training. Teams worked on plans for the fall around school wide expectations, classroom expectations to strengthen school climate around student behavior and Tier 1 and 2 behavior strategies. Many staff were introduced to FBAs since this is not a task most teachers will not need to learn.
 
We will continue to collect data in the following areas to drive decisions when it comes to mental health needs.
• Mental health referrals
• SEL assessments
• Truancy data
• Discipline data (measures disproportionality and patterns)
• Local Care Team Referrals
• Home Hospital Instruction
• Suicide Risk Assessments
• Behavior Threat Assessments 
 
KENT BLENDED LEARNING ACADEMY (KBLA), HYBRID OPTION
KCPS does not offer a fully remote option. KBLA is a hybrid option that marries both face-to-face instruction with remote learning. While KCPS believes a fully face-to-face option would be optimal, we have a population of students that this model serves their academic and social emotional needs. During the 2019-20 school year, KCPS opened a blended learning academy. This model allowed our students to work through an online platform from home with the opportunity for face to face instruction two days per week with Maryland certified teachers. KCPS will continue this secondary program but will increase the numbers of students admitted into the academy up to 15. Students are expected to log on to our online platform daily to complete assignments and are in person Wednesday and Friday. The KCPS attendance policy is followed for the KBLA students. Attendance is calculated based on the students logging on and completing daily assignments as well as in person attendance. The Truancy Reduction Program (TRP) for KCPS is inclusive to our KBLA students. To be considered truant, and included in the TRP program, the student would have missed 8 days of school unlawfully in a quarter, 15 unlawful absences in a semester or 20 unlawful absences for the school year. Weekly progress reports are sent home to parents of our KBLA students. The progress report includes present grade, percent of the course complete, number of missed assignments, and the last log on date. At this time, if there is a problem with attendance, it is addressed with the parent. Due to the size of the program, if a student misses an in-person session, parents are called that day. Both of these measures have decreased the amount of time missed by our KBLA students.
 
ENGLISH LEARNERS
The KCPS ESOL (English to speakers of other languages) is an English language acquisition program for students in grades pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Students are identified as English language based on a home language survey and the WIDA English proficiency screening assessment (KW-APT and W-APT). 

Currently there are 80 EL in KCPS, grades K-12 and approximately 10 pre-K students. Two of the three elementary schools as well as the middle and high school have an ESOL teacher who provides EL services to students and EL case management. In the remote learning setting, KCPS is continuing to provide EL services to students at all levels. The goal of these services is to promote successful English language acquisition through concurrent language and content learning. 

Elementary Level EL teachers work collaboratively with classroom teachers to recommend and create instructional materials as needed to maximize equitable access to grade-level content. Identified students will receive small group instruction differentiated at their current academic and EL level.  In addition, EL teachers create linguistically differentiated standards-focused lessons to support Newcomers (students arriving to the country after July 1, 2020) and Entering level, English proficient students. 

Secondary EL teachers provide on grade level differentiated content and targeted English language proficiency (ELP) instruction from certified content teachers and EL teachers with appropriate accommodations.   The EL teacher will collaborate with content teachers to ensure appropriate instruction and accommodations will be provided as well as simultaneously classroom and academic language instruction.  In addition, they may receive evidence-based interventions for unfinished learning. 

Looking forward to the 2020-2021 school year, schools will have to consider the proficiency levels of their non-English speaking students in instruction factoring in learning loss. Classroom teachers now more than ever will need the support of ESOL staff in sheltering content and using strategies to convey material. Immigrant students need to be considered with their set of unique needs in instruction as well as acclimation. EL teachers and county interpreters act as family liaisons to communicate instructional and school-based initiatives.

While students may still be impacted by the COVID19 pandemic and required to be quarantined, the KCPS will continue to provide services to all students, including EL students.  When an EL student is quarantined or diagnosed with COVID19, a child will be provided with a virtual option to participate in classes through the platform use of schoology.  Students are required to log in to the virtual option to access the general education curriculum and instruction.  EL services are also provided through connecting the students virtually into small groups or individually to receive the services outlined in the child’s individual plan.  

The ESOL staff will work closely with content and classroom teachers, providing support and lesson input using ESOL-specific standards and strategies. EL students will be quickly identified and they and their families will have linguistic support.




Special Education Services

Book stack

Requirement: Kent County Public Schools will follow the established Special Education protocols.

The KCPS is fully open and all students are entitled to services under IDEA, 504, and Title II ADA. In order to ensure that all requirements  of IDEA, 504, and Title II ADA are being implemented, the KCPS is actively locating and assessing students to determine if a child is eligible for special services under IDEA, 504, and Title II ADA.
   
The KCPS is following all requirements of IDEA in locating and assessing students with disabilities. No amendments were made to IDEA, therefore, all timelines as outlined in IDEA are being followed for child find referrals, initial and re-evaluations, IEP development, and annual review meetings. The KCPS is offering face to face IEP team meetings that include required team members and parents with a virtual option at parent request. The KCPS has purchased technology equipment to ensure that all team members are active participants for virtual meetings and that all members are heard. 

MEANS TO ADDRESS THE IMPACT OF LOSS OF INSTRUCTIONAL TIME
In order to address the impact of loss of instruction time for students with disabilities, all students that receive special education services were considered for compensatory education/recovery services.  School based IEP teams worked together to organize and analyze data for each child to determine if there was a lack of progress and if compensatory education/recovery services needed to be provided. 
Special Education teachers considered data that was collected through intervention data, formative and summative assessments, Informal reading inventories, and progress monitoring of all IEP goals. If supplementary aids and services and/or goals could not be implemented through virtual instruction, teams analyzed the impact it had on a child’s rate of progress to review at IEP meetings and with parents for consideration of compensatory education/recovery services. All parents were called and teams shared the data they gathered and made a recommendation if compensatory education/recovery services were or were not being recommended for their child. If parents agreed with the recommendation, a PWN was provided to all parents and formal IEP meetings were held if parents had additional questions, wanted to discuss the recommendation further, or disagreed with the recommendation made by the team. Parental input was a key in all decisions made by the teams to recommend or not recommend compensatory education/recovery services.

Compensatory education/recovery services were not part of the Extended School Year (ESY) decision and were not provided during scheduled ESY services. Compensatory education/recovery services were provided during summer through acceleration academies and recovery programs. All teachers who worked with any child who was entitled to compensatory education/recovery services had copies of the students IEP to implement in their classes. Special Education teachers worked collaboratively with general education teachers and Instructional Assistants who worked with the students to ensure that compensatory education/recovery services were provided to all students.  A few students were provided compensatory education/recovery services throughout the summer months outside of KCPS recovery programs due to not enrolling in these programs. For some students, compensatory education/recovery services will be provided in the fall upon return to the school building. After all compensatory services have been provided, the IEP team will hold an IEP meeting to review data and progress on all IEP goals.

In compliance with the Ready to Read Act and early identification of reading disabilities or delays, Special Education teachers are participating in Orton Gillingham training to become certified in supporting a multi-sensory approach to reading and provide early reading interventions.
 
IEP MEETINGS AND ASSESSMENTS
KCPS held virtual meetings during the 2020-2021 school year. Many parents reported that they felt offering a virtual participation option supported them being an active participant in their child’s IEP meeting. Parents did not have to take time from work, travel to schools for meetings, and lose time from their job or pay. A lesson learned during the COVID 19 pandemic was that parents wanted this option to continue for the next school year. Therefore, the KCPS IEP teams will continue to offer a virtual option for parents to participate if they cannot attend a face to face meeting. 

All assessments and evaluations were conducted through face to face administration during the 2020-2021 school year. KCPS followed all IDEA requirements for evaluations and timelines. Families and staff are required to wear masks in school settings for face to face IEP meetings.
 
INTERVENTIONS IN STUDENT LEARNING
All students receiving special education services were offered to continue interventions throughout the summer to help recoup lost learning during the COVID 19 pandemic. Two special education teachers are monitoring and checking on students progress through interventions such as Imagine Math and Imagine Math Facts. These are both approved tier 3 interventions that have access to live teacher help, data collection, and progress monitoring. While these interventions are computer based, our special education teachers connect with parents and students to ensure that the program is being completed with fidelity throughout the summer.

Our special education teachers are working collaboratively with their general education partners and instructional assistants to deliver specially designed instruction that will help our students with disabilities reach the grade level standards.  This instruction will be carefully planned for each student with an IEP to address the goals and objectives outlined in the IEP, along with providing all supplementary aids and services, to help narrow the gap between students with and without disabilities.
         
Students with disabilities may require additional supports around Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The school social workers and school psychologist are monitoring all special education students to determine if additional support is needed in the area of SEL. Some students who receive special education services have not been in school for the past 18 months and may have experienced additional traumatic experiences which could impact a student’s ability to participate and make progress in the educational environment . The Supervisor of Special Education is meeting with each Case Manager to review the current Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) to determine if the BIP is still appropriate or if a new FBA is warranted. Through IEP team meetings, the team is meeting with parents and authorizing FBAs to collect new data if the BIP is not addressing the child’s needs. 

All BIPs require data to be collected. This data is reviewed with the Supervisor of Special Education, social workers, and school psychologists to ensure that progress is being made and appropriate counseling services or school based mental health services are being provided. The KCPS also is working closely with the Kent County Local Management Board to convene the Local Care Team as needed for children.       

PROGRESS MONITORING
All data collected will be analyzed to help drive each child’s educational program. The data will be used to form appropriate Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP). Professional Development will also be provided to all special education teachers on writing appropriate PLAAFPs to drive IEP goals and objectives and instruction in the classroom. 

Data that is collected will be included in progress reports to show that the student is making adequate progress towards IEP goals and towards grade level standards. Data will be collected from informal assessments, formative and summative assessments, observational data, interventions, and state assessments. This information will also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and if students are applying what they have learned in their classrooms.

DISPROPORTIONALITY
Through the SST process, new procedures have been developed and outlined to address disproportionality of referrals to the special education team. Currently, the KCPS has disproportionally identified African American/Black students in the category of Specific Learning Disabilities.  This process includes more intense progress monitoring of interventions prior to referring to the IEP team, written forms and outlines of how to conduct SST meetings, professional development and coaching on conducting SST meetings and progress monitoring.
 
PAATH PROGRAM (PROMOTING ADULT ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH TRANSITION AND HEALTH)
Students, ages 18-21, in our PAATH Program in collaboration with Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties will return to Chesapeake College this fall for face to face programming. Students will continue to receive all components of the program, including life and wellness, work based learning, employment skill training and career development. These students will also have the opportunity to participate in our Work Learning Programs as well.

Transition Planning and Programming
• All students ages 14 and up will continue to receive face to face interviews  and participate in transition assessments to drive their transition planning process. Additionally, students will meet with the Transition Facilitator to discuss the assessments and receive coaching to learn advocating skills for themselves and their career goals and needs.
• Case Managers will continue to work with students to complete transition activities outlined in the student’s IEP face to face or virtually if necessary.
• KCMS will offer an elective that focuses on career awareness and development to introduce students to the world of secondary transition to recover any lost learning on transition activities in IEPs.
• The Division of Rehabilitative Services (DORS) is now allowing face to face services.  KCPS will continue with Pre-Employment Transition Service (PRE-Ets) programs at KCHS which include Work Readiness and Work Based Learning.  Paid Work Based Learning Program between KCPS and community partners has resumed and we are continuing to partner with local employers in Kent County to employ our students with appropriate job coaching as needed.
• In collaboration with the KCPS Career Technical Education  (CTE) Department, a virtual job shadowing program will be offered to students to help individuals shape their career goals in their area of interest.
Services Plans and Parentally Placed Private School Students
             
Students who are placed in private or parochial schools by parents may be eligible for services as outlined in the approved Parentally Placed Private School Students (PPPSS).  These students will receive their services as outlined in their approved service plan in person as determined by the IEP team and outlined in their service plan.  If the private school is not open for in person services or allowing outside community partners in their buildings, services may be provided at the child’s home school or through a virtual platform.

INFANTS AND TODDLERS
All infant and toddlers services are being offered in the natural environment (community settings, homes, daycares, or head start). All evaluations are being offered face to face. Some parents have found the virtual option for case management and through the use of the coaching framework beneficial for their families and this will continue, however, face to face services will also be offered. Agencies are referring children at appropriate rates and public awareness activities have resumed.   Compensatory education/recovery services were also considered and proposed for Infants and Toddlers families if progress was not adequate during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Currently, providers do not have to complete COVID19 screeners before going into homes, however, the providers are calling parents to ensure that  families are healthy and have not been exposed prior to going into the home. Masks are encouraged for all children over 2 and families  and providers are asked to wear masks. When possible, service coordinators and therapists are still encouraging families to meet outside to provide services.
 
Magnifying glass icon
KCPS will ensure measures are taken to minimize the impact on distance learning for all special education students and families.




Safety and Maintaining Healthy Environments

Requirement: Kent County schools will adhere to protocols instituted by state health officials for addressing an outbreak.

TRANSPORTATION
Requirement: KCPS will follow protocols for the safe transportation of students to and from school.
Drivers will sanitize the interior of the bus between different runs and have been trained based on the guidance from the bus manufacturer's recommendations. Both BlueBird and Thomas have issued guidance on sanitizing buses properly. Cleaning will be documented in the bus drivers pre-trip inspection booklets. Regular bus inspections are still in compliance with required safety precautions in place. Face coverings will be optional for all persons on school transportation. 

FOOD AND NUTRITION OPERATIONS
Enhanced sanitation measures will be implemented regarding student meal service in the meal preparation and food distribution. This includes surfaces that come in contact with food should be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before and after meals. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned after each lunch shift. Given very low risk of transmission from surfaces and shared objects, there is no need to limit food service approaches to single use items and packaged meals. Promote hand washing before, after, and during shifts, before and after eating, after using the toilet, and after handling garbage, dirty dishes, or removing gloves.

ATHLETICS AND CLUBS 
Requirement: Kent County Public Schools is following the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association (MPSSAA) guidelines.
Masks are optional for athletes when inside a school. Coaches and sideline players have the option to wear a face covering while indoors. Masks are not required for athletes, coaches and spectators indoors. Visiting teams will have access to locker rooms.

VISITORS
All visitors must comply with KCPS safety practices. Direct service providers (i.e. mental health providers, tutors, KCPR) will have access to the schools and must comply with KCPS safety practices. School gatherings (i.e. PTSA meetings, Back To School Night) may occur with visitors following KCPS safety practices. Schools will emphasize the importance of staying home when sick or having symptoms regardless of vaccination status.




Extended Learning Opportunities

Through ESSER funds, KCPS has provided multiple opportunities for extended learning. During the summer of 2021, summer programs were offered to all students ages 3 through 11th grade. Programming at the high school was designed to target credit recovery, with a week-long camp for Career and Technical program exploration specifically designed to introduce rising 9th and 10th graders to the opportunities available through our CTE programs. The other 4 weeks were open to any and all students in need of credit recovery through APEX courses. Acceleration Academies were held for any interested students in elementary and middle school, as well as playgroups and Cub Club for families with children not yet school age. Acceleration Academies focused on critical needs areas in mathematics, writing, and foundational reading skills. Through project based learning, students will engage in critical thinking and problem solving. Field trips with local community organizations will take place for all students in the Acceleration Academies with KCPS staff on site to provide additional learning opportunities through small groups. KCPS plans to provide the same summer programming in future summers to ensure that we continue our effort to close any learning gaps created during the Covid-19 pandemic. Traditional summer school shifted back to in person learning for the summer of 2021 and students with significant learning loss, and those disproportionately impacted by lost instructional time were prioritized. Additional staffing was secured to increase enrollment. Guidance for safe return to in person learning was followed to ensure the safety of all students and staff members.




Appendices

APPENDIX I
INSTRUCTIONAL MODELS
KCPS plans to reopen all schools and resume a 5-day a week traditional schedule with no remote option for the 2022-23 school year. In the event that we need to return to another learning model, KCPS plans to utilize the previous models for fully remote and hybrid learning.

The Kent County Public School re-opening plan recognizes the need to plan for multiple scenarios that anticipate varying phases of re-opening. These plans include the traditional full opening, fully remote synchronous learning where students attend school daily from home with a structured schedule, and a hybrid model which blends remote and in-person learning guided by a structured schedule. KCPS recognizes the potential need to move from various models given the health crisis and state guidelines. These plans are designed to minimize impact on students and is based on feedback from surveys, stakeholder groups, and task force groups. 
 
The KCPS Superintendent’s Office, in coordination with members of the Kent County Board of Education, local education recovery stakeholder groups, and experts at the Kent County Department of Health, monitor key health metrics and identify the appropriate stage within Maryland’s Roadmap to Recovery. The KCPS Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with the KCPS Board of Education, subsequently determines the operational status of schools within each phase.

Impacts on Kent County Public School System Decisions
Option 1: Fully Remote Learning for all students
Option 2: Hybrid Learning combines face-to-face and remote
Option 3: Face-to-Face Learning for all students

Magnifying glass icon
A Fully Remote option will remain available for families regardless of return phase.

Kent County School System under the direction of the Superintendent of Schools will make determinations regarding which groups of students and staff will be able to re-enter buildings. Specific schedules, calendar modifications, and delivery of instruction are all at the discretion of the local school system.

Magnifying glass icon
Option 2 prioritizes students who need the most support through an in-school setting.

In both the Fully Remote and Hybrid instructional models, the remote experience will be enhanced for students in the 2020-2021 school year based on student, staff, and parent feedback. KCPS has been building the digital platform for several years. Several high-quality tools were available during the initial Continuity of Learning period such as Google Classroom, Zoom, and Screencastify. That work continues and has been adjusted based on feedback to ensure the Fully Remote option is improved from the spring of 2020. 
 
KCPS families requested a desire for students to use one digital platform for the Fully Remote option. For this reason, the Schoology Learning Management System (LMS) will be utilized by all staff for course management in the coming school year. Consistent teacher feedback requested training to use the tools in a remote setting. KCPS has identified lead teachers that will continue to offer a flexible professional learning model to support the training and needs of teachers. All staff will be introduced to Schoology and participate in live webinars and training sessions.

DAILY LEARNING EXPERIENCES
Each day, elementary students will have an opportunity to:  
• Receive live, remote instruction from their teachers, 5 days weekly
• Join their classmates for class meetings and social-emotional learning experiences.  
• Engage in small groups for instruction as needed.   
• Work independently on assignments and projects.   
• Take movement breaks and screen breaks throughout the day.  
• Have lunch and playtime independently and with family.  
• Participate in special area class instruction in art, music, library, and physical education. 

Each day, middle or high school students will have an opportunity to:  
• Receive live, remote instruction in all of their courses for a total of 3.5 hours each day, 5 days each week.  
• Engage in small groups for instruction as needed.   
• Request individual support from their school counselor.   Work independently on assignments and projects.  
• Take movement, lunch, and screen breaks throughout the day

Examples of tools and resources added and/or expanded this year include, but are not limited to:
• Gizmos
• Illustrative Mathematics K-8
• Lexia Core 5
• Dreambox
• Imagine Math
• Imagine Reading

VIRTUAL LEARNING OPTION

SAMPLE SCHEDULE

APPENDIX II

APPENDIX III