Important Information
COVID-19 Guidance, Resources and Updates

for Maryland Schools and Communities

Multiple state agencies are collaborating on and are committed to the health and safety of students and staff in the school setting. We are working collaboratively with the Governor's Office, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and all other relevant State agencies on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Maryland State Department of Education will remain vigilant in providing all information regarding the virus as it pertains to the health and safety of students and staff in our schools.

Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings in SchoolsPDF document link to Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings in Schools

Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of COVID-19 and Persons with COVID-19-like Illness in SchoolsPDF document link to Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of COVID-19 and Persons with COVID-19-like Illness in Schools

Click Here to learn more information on COVID-19.

Important Update:

September 1, 2020 State Board of Education Presentation on Student Engagement

Student Engagement Recommendations
Adopted by the State Board September 1, 2020

Invitation to provide comment/input:

Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for EducationMSDE welcomes public comments on the Updated Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for Education

Please email comments to: until further notice. Comments will be reviewed on a continuous basis.

New! Update on Fall High School Athletics, September 24, 2020

Remarks by Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D.

Good Afternoon Governor Hogan, and thank you for your continued support and leadership in the recovery efforts in the State of Maryland.

We have had the great pleasure today of traveling to schools across the State to witness firsthand how school systems are making in-person and hybrid models of learning work effectively in spite of the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, and today was another tremendous example of that.

I remain incredibly impressed and grateful to those who have worked so hard to get our children back into classrooms in the safest manner possible, and I look forward to continuing my travels to various schools around the State to observe the innovative ways that schools are engaging with students.

To that end, I do want to briefly discuss the nature of high school athletics today. The MSDE and the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) have heard loudly and clearly from members of the school communities across the State that there is a desire for more options as it relates to fall sports.

On June 10, 2020, I announced opportunities for all local school systems to begin bringing students back into classrooms.  Among those opportunities was the ability for high school sports to begin conditioning and training.

The importance of that decision was to ensure our student-athletes were being engaged for their mental health, physical well-being, having social interactions, and profiting from the intangible benefits found in athletic participation. Many school systems took advantage of this prior to the start of the academic year.   

These opportunities have continued to exist for student-athletes based on the initiative of the MPSSAA to request specific waiver regulations from the State Board of Education on June 23, 2020.

With the State Board of Education’s approval, the MPSSAA on July 7, 2020, released a return to play guidance document requiring each local school system to assemble a Return to Play Committee.  The guidance issued by the MPSSAA provided health and safety measures to gradually return students to participation through the plans developed by each local school system’s Return to Play Committee.   

To date, many systems have announced plans to bring back students onto school campuses for in-person athletic opportunities this fall.

After recent discussions with the State Board of Education, the 24 local school system Superintendents, the Executive Director of the MPSSAA, stakeholders, and parents, I am taking the following steps to permit more opportunities for student engagement in interscholastic athletics.

Today, I am announcing that: 
  • All school systems shall, as soon as possible, provide conditioning and training opportunities using the current available options provided by the MPSSAA.
  • On October 7, 2020, all local school systems may begin formal fall sport season practices in preparation for a competition season which will begin on October 27.  All practices and preparation should be in accordance with COMAR required practice regulations.  Golf competitions may begin immediately on October 7.
  • In addition, I am expanding the seasonal competition timeframes as previously announced for all winter and spring sports within this plan.
  • Local school systems who choose not to restart the fall sport season on October 7, may use the Second Semester Plan Option as previously announced.
  • A full explanation of the available timeframes and opportunities will be released to local school systems and posted on the MPSSAA website, as soon as this press conference is over.

Each local school system as I said, can select whichever option best addresses the conditions in their jurisdiction, but we encourage systems that have and are continuing to bring students back into schools to consider allowing athletics to resume.

Obviously, the health protocols for safe athletic activities outlined by the Maryland Department of Health and the MPSSAA, local health departments, and in the recovery plan for education must be strictly followed to ensure the safety and welfare of students.

High school sports and competition are deeply rooted in the fabric of our schools and communities.  The steps taken today are directly related to the needs of our students to be active and engaged for their physical, social, and social and emotional well-being.

These programs have a history of providing opportunities for all students and not just those with the economic capabilities to participate.

The mentorship, comradery, and daily structure with these experiences and what they provide not only supports our students’ academic success, but also has a generational history of reaching many at-risk youth, some of them struggling in their remote learning environment.

I would like to thank the Governor again for his leadership and the multi-agency response to COVID-19 that has placed the State of Maryland in the position to bring students back into classrooms and back onto the athletic fields and courts.

Thank you.

New! Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care Outlines Path Forward for Child Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) developed Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care, a plan to continue and expand child care during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As the State entered the first recovery stage, MSDE announced the immediate start of a transition phase for child care, expanding access to child care to include families returning to work under Governor Hogan’s latest Executive Order. MSDE established a comprehensive stakeholder task force, including family and center-based providers, child care advocates, as well as Maryland Department of Health representatives, to provide recommendations that helped to inform the recovery plan.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Maryland’s child care providers, teachers and staff who have agreed to deliver services for essential persons and first responders, as well as those child care providers who have remained closed for the health and safety of their staff and families,” said Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Schools. “Maryland’s family and center-based child care providers are critical to our recovery efforts – we will move forward together with safety as the priority.”

News Releases

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Announces Local School Systems May Officially Start High School Fall Sports Beginning October 7, 2020

Maryland State Department of Education Provides $10 Million in Grant Funding to Support In-Person Instruction This Fall

Maryland Career & Technical Students Shine at FBLA National Leadership Virtual Competition

Maryland State Board of Education Hosts Virtual Board Meetings on September 21 and September 22

MSDE DORS Partners with Sephora In New Training Program to Provide Career Opportunities to Individuals with Disabilities

Finalists Named for 2020 – 2021 Maryland Teacher of the Year

Maryland State Department of Education Announces Additional COVID-19 Relief Grants for Maryland Schools and Universities

Maryland State Board of Education Hosts Special Meeting Virtually On Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Clarence Crawford Elected President of the Maryland State Board of Education

Maryland Child Care Moves Forward as Part of State’s Overall Stage 2 Recovery

New Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals

Maryland Education Moves Forward as Part of State’s Overall Stage 2 Recovery

From State Superintendent Salmon: Special Message to the Education Community

Maryland State Department of Education Develops New Child Care Recovery Plan; Essential Personnel Child Care Expanded In Immediate Transition Phase

Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rumor Control Page Launches

Additional News Releases >>

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