Hybrid Model Frequently Asked Questions
* Para ver esta información en español, utilice la función “Google Translate” en la parte inferior de esta página.
Positive COVID Cases in the Schools
The Maryland Department of Health and the Frederick County Health Department recommended that school systems only report outbreak data in order to ensure confidentiality of individual health information. The Maryland Department of Health has a dashboard which shows every outbreak by school in Maryland.
However, FCPS recently received permission to create a dashboard that will identify the number of positive COVID-19 cases by staff and students in each school beginning in January. The data will be updated weekly and the trend data will be available for each school and the school system.
When a staff or student reports a positive test for COVID-19, that person is interviewed by either the FCPS Health Specialist or a FCHD Health Technician to identify close contacts. Close contacts within the school setting are notified and asked to quarantine.
It is very important that anyone who is contacted about a positive COVID-19 case share as much information as possible with the contact tracer. This is critically important to help us reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
Since the schedule for hybrid instruction and virtual instruction are the same, any staff member or student who is in quarantine will still be able to engage virtually. Administrators will have a substitute teacher or support staff member supervise students in the classroom and the teacher will direct students from the virtual setting.
An outbreak is defined as any two positive cases that are “connected.” This connection is identified by location and the time of the positive test.
When an outbreak is identified, FCPS will work with the Frederick County Health Department to determine the need for closure. In most cases, quarantining for students and staff in the same classroom will be the likely step. Based on the data available to the FCHD, it may be recommended to close a school. This process is similar to the process that has been used in daycare centers for many months.
Transitioning to the Hybrid Model
Dr. Alban is working collaboratively with Dr. Brookmyer, Director of the FCHD, to monitor positivity rates in the community and the number of cases per 100,000. They also look at the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the schools and whether or not there are outbreaks.
Administrators have been planning the logistics to ensure that students are socially distanced in classrooms and hallways. Special procedures for entering and exiting the building will be implemented.
Hand sanitizer dispensers are located in every classroom and in various locations across the school. Students will be reminded to wash hands frequently and to avoid touching their faces.
It will be required to wear masks at all times while in the school. There will be disciplinary consequences for anyone who does not comply with this requirement. Students will only be allowed to remove masks while eating.
These safety precautions are explained and can be found in the following documents:
- FCPS Face Covering Guidance in School Buildings
- Reopening Building Operational Plans
- Transportation Guidelines
- Student Health and Safety and COVID-19 Response Plan
Each school is determining how to safely provide lunch for students. Seating in the cafeteria will be socially distanced and therefore, capacity will be limited.
Administrators are using the information from the parent and staff intent form to determine staffing assignments and classes for students. While they will do their best to keep students with their current teacher, this may not always be possible.
Any student who participates in the hybrid model will be in school for 2 days and attending virtually for 3 days. The teachers for hybrid sections will be teaching students in the classroom and teachers attending virtually at the same time for part of the day. This is called “concurrent teaching” and a video showing how this works can be found at:
Students who are participating in the virtual only model may be grouped with students in the hybrid model or they may be assigned to a class with only students engaging in the virtual model. This depends on the number of students and staff at each school. School principals will be better able to respond to this question once new class assignments have been determined in early January
Due to the capacity limitations in classrooms with social distancing in place, it will likely not be possible for a student to switch from virtual to hybrid. If a student was supposed to begin in the hybrid model and now wants to go completely virtual, it will be possible as long as that student remains in the same class group as assigned for the hybrid model.