Important School Closure Information

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 1:05pm

Below is the email that was sent out by Dr. Martirano.  Please take a moment to read through this important information. Please check the HCPSS website for updates as they become available. 


Dear HCPSS Community,

We have further reviewed the decision made by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon to close Maryland public schools March 16-27, and would like to share additional information and resources for staff and families. We recognize this will create inconveniences for many in our community and we will do everything we can to address your concerns.

HCPSS leaders have been working diligently for several weeks to prepare for a closure such as this. I am pleased to share that we will operate nine sites to provide "Grab N Go" meals for students as detailed below, and provide instructional materials for students and families to use during this closure. 

This is an evolving situation that impacts many areas, including advanced placement exams, college applications, standardized test administration, sporting events amongst many others. Our team will continue to work through these challenges and address them through our regular family and staff communications. Thank you in advance for your patience.  

Please continue to visit the HCPSS website as updates and answers to frequently asked questions will be posted regularly. If you have any specific questions or concerns, I encourage you to email your principal.  


Michael J. Martirano, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Howard County Public School System

School Closing Information and Guidelines

Closing Dates
All school buildings will be closed beginning at 6 p.m., Friday, March 13. All field trips for Friday, March 13 are canceled. 

All school and Central Office staff should report as scheduled to work tomorrow, Friday, March 13. Specific information regarding expectations for all staff during the March 16-27 school closure will be shared during the day tomorrow.

Access to Instructional Resources
On Friday, March 13, we will provide students with information and instructional resources that can be used optionally while at home. A paper version of these documents will be sent home with all students according to their grade. These resources will not be collected or graded. 

In addition, students may continue to work on classroom assignments provided by teachers prior to school closures. There are no expectations that assignments be turned in during the closure.  

Food distribution
Beginning Tuesday, March 17, we will be providing free "Grab-N-Go" nutritious meals to anyone age 18 and under at four school sites and five mobile sites. Meals will be available from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., weekdays, Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27.

School Sites

  • Howard High School, 8700 Old Annapolis Road, Ellicott City
  • Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Road, Columbia
  • Swansfield Elementary School, 5610 Cedar Lane, Columbia
  • Cradlerock Elementary School/Lake Elkhorn Middle School, 6680 Cradlerock Way, Columbia

Mobile Sites:

  • Laurel Woods Elementary School Parking Lot, 9250 North Laurel Road, Laurel
  • Ducketts Lane Elementary School Parking Lot, 6501 Ducketts Lane, Elkridge
  • Bushy Park Elementary School Parking Lot, 14601 Carrs Mill Road, Glenwood
  • Monarch Mills Apartments, 7600 Monarch Mills Way, Columbia
  • Forest Ridge Apartments, 5890 Stevens Forest Rd, Columbia

Plays, Concerts, SATs & Community School Use
All activities scheduled for Friday afternoon/evening, including plays, concerts and athletics are canceled. Additionally, the SAT scheduled for Saturday is canceled. All community activities being held in HCPSS facilities are canceled beginning Friday, March 13, 2020 at 6 p.m. for the duration of the time schools are closed.

Clean Out Lockers and Classroom
Students should clean out all lockers (including gym lockers) and desks, and staff should put away personal items in classrooms and be sure to take any necessary materials home so that schools can be thoroughly cleaned during the next two weeks.

Medicine and Health Supplies Pick-Up
Nurses and health assistants will be contacting impacted families to ask them to pick up medication and health supplies by the end of the school day on Friday, March 13. Parents/guardians need to pick up the medications; however medical supplies may be sent home with students. If a parent does not need to pick up the supplies or medication since they have enough medication and/or supplies, those items will be locked in the health rooms while schools are closed. 
Information Shared with Students
Understanding that students may be upset by what they are hearing related to Coronavirus and that schools will be closed, age-appropriate information will be shared with them tomorrow in classrooms and they are able to ask questions of a teacher. Any students who appear upset will be supported by a Student Services team member and parents will be contacted.
Make-Up Days
The State Superintendent recommended the use of planned Spring Break days as make-up days. We are reviewing this recommendation with the Maryland State Department of Education and will provide additional information to families as soon as possible