Operations, Logistics, and Safety
— SCHOOL CALENDAR AND BELL TIMES
MSD is resuming normal operating days and hours and will return to its normal bell times for the 2023-2024 school year. The school day for all Family Childhood Education preschool students through Grade 12 is from 8:00 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.
The school calendar is available online at www.msd.edu/schoolcalendar/.
—SCHOOL CLOSINGS FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER
Inclement weather or other safety conditions may require MSD to dismiss students early, close school, or have a delayed opening. This decision involves careful evaluations of various factors in a compressed time. Decisions are made as early as possible for early dismissals, morning delays, and closings. MSD will notify the school community of early dismissals, closings, and delays through email from the campus principal, MSD's website and social media sites, One Call Now, and Local News Stations.
MSD’s inclement weather policy is available online at www.msd.edu/schoolclosings/.
— HOME VISITS
MSD continues to provide home visits to families of eligible children enrolled in the Family Education/Early Childhood Education Department. Department principals will regularly evaluate health metrics across the state, staffing concerns, and individual county practices. As needed, home visits may shift to virtual for a county or the entire department. Families will be informed promptly if a change in home visit delivery format is needed.
All in-person home visits must follow MSD's mask policies, regardless of the local policy. Families will have the option of receiving these services in one of three service delivery models:
1) In-person visits by an Early Childhood Education program staff to the family's home area, which could include the following locations:
- The family's home, or, weather permitting, outdoors at the family's home.
- A local public setting, such as a library, or, weather permitting, an outdoor public setting.
- Your child's daycare.
2) Visits on MSD's campus
3) Virtual Visits are an option if a home county allows it for an IFSP student.
Research shows that early intervention is most effective in a child's environment. With this in mind, MSD encourages families to meet in person with their providers. If a family prefers to receive visits virtually, they can do so and are encouraged to maintain their choice for a semester.
— CLEANING OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS AND VEHICLES
Cleaning protocols have been established following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. MSD's housekeeping staff shall disinfect and sanitize all frequent and highly touched surfaces in classrooms, offices, restrooms, hallways, common areas, and stairways with appropriate disinfectant and cleaning products.
To support sanitizing efforts, MSD has updated sinks, toilets, and paper towel dispensers in restrooms with contactless accessories. MSD's housekeeping staff shall regularly clean and disinfect restrooms during the school day when the buildings are occupied. Special attention is given to door handles, light switches, handrails, drinking fountains, and other surfaces that are touched frequently to the best of their ability without disrupting classroom instructional times.
Wipes, disinfectants, rags, and gloves will be available as needed for teachers and staff to wipe down classroom student desks and chairs. MSD's housekeeping staff will clean residence halls daily during the day while students are in school.
As state of Maryland employees, all MSD staff are required to complete Driver Improvement Training on a regular schedule for safety. Each school vehicle shall have cleaning wipes and gloves available for MSD staff to wipe down the interior of the vehicle after each use. Drivers shall be given a checklist for what must be sanitized and submit a completed COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols Checklist for State Vehicles form to confirm the cleaning took place. Vehicles are inspected once daily, usually the first thing in the morning, by MSD's maintenance staff.
MSD has invested in improving indoor air quality by placing air purifiers in classrooms, residence halls, multipurpose rooms, offices with multiple occupants, and offices used for student assessments and services. In addition, most classrooms and offices have windows or doors that can be opened to allow for natural ventilation.
— STUDENT LOCKERS
Students may use their assigned lockers to store personal items throughout the school day. Students may not share their lockers with peers. MSD’s housekeeping staff shall regularly clean and disinfect locker handles.
— FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES
MSD has returned to pre-pandemic operations.
Meals are free for all day and residential students.
School cafeteria menus are available online at www.msd.edu/cafeteriamenus/.
— SAFE TRANSPORTATION OF STUDENTS
In alignment with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal order no longer requires that people wear masks on buses. Transportation services to and from school are provided to students by their home county; therefore, safety protocols may vary among counties. Local school systems may choose to require that students wear masks on school buses or vans. Because MSD students come from all over the state, masking requirements on school buses may vary by county.
County protocols may include assigned seating to maintain social distancing and the use of disinfectant and cleaning cloths on high touch surfaces before and after students ride the bus. Weather permitting, bus drivers may also open bus windows and hatches to increase air circulation.
— TRANSPORTATION FOR SCHOOL-SPONSORED TRIPS
Groups will be transported to and from field trip locations by designated school vehicles. Safety rules and restrictions remain in place in school vehicles. Eating and drinking inside school vehicles is not permitted at any time.