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Dear Whittier Elementary Community,

As you may know, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) has been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education to implement up to three virtual instructional days in lieu of systemwide closure during inclement weather. While not necessarily the first option, the Learning @ Home days provide FCPS flexibility in responding to various weather emergencies. In developing the FCPS plan, our goal is to: mitigate disruption to learning mid-year; minimize additional days that often need to be added at the end of the school year; and keep students connected to learning in the event of an extended closure. Additional information can be found here.

As a result, our school has been engaged in planning and preparation for this possibility, to ensure full readiness if a virtual instruction day were to be implemented. Here's what you need to know and how you can help your child prepare:

  • Instructional Activities: All assignments will be independent and self-paced (asynchronous). You can expect approximately 20-30 minutes per subject area that students can complete at a time that works for them or the household. Assignments and activities will be review and practice, not new content. In many cases, students will have choices in selecting the instructional activity. Please note that the design of these instructional days does not require students to follow a typical school or "live" virtual schedule.

  • Grades PreK-2: The default format for PreK–2 is a printed packet, which will be sent home with your child. For students with access at home, assignments will also be posted in Schoology and may include options for accessing digital instruction through programs such as i-Ready and Lexia.
  • Grades 3-5: FCPS Chromebooks will be distributed to your child prior to the implementation of a virtual learning day. Assignments will be posted in Schoology. Printed packets will be available if requested by student or parent/guardian. NOTE: Please complete this Google Form for Your Child's Teacher so they know your technology needs)
  • Attendance: Students will be counted as "present" by logging into Schoology (Grades 3-5) on the virtual learning day or turning in assignments upon return to school. Students who were unable to access the instructional activities during the virtual learning day will be provided with additional time.

  • Support: During a Learning @ Home Day, our staff will be available to provide "live" support to students during the day via Google Meet, in an Office Hours format. This is optional for students and not required. The morning of a Learning @ Home Day, your child’s teacher will publish the links to our virtual learning lab, where students may sign in for extra help. Teachers will also post their office hours as well as links to google meet in each of their Schoology classrooms.

In addition, students needing support can also send an email to their teacher directly.

Please note that in the event of a virtual instructional day, FCPS will provide communication and notice well in advance of any predicted inclement weather to ensure that schools, students, and families are aware of this possibility and are fully prepared. Again, this communication is to assist in planning and preparation for this possibility that may be utilized in the future based on a multitude of factors. We will keep you fully informed as we move forward in planning.


Lorcan OhEithir, Principal