Distance Learning Instruction

Attendance and Grading
CTE, Apprenticeship, Internship and Work-Based Learning
Dual Enrollment
English Language Learners
Orientation - Mock Day of Distance Learning
Outdoor Instruction
Sample Schedules
Section 504
Social-Emotional Learning
Special Education
Specialty Programs
Talented and Gifted
Technology and Software
Television Schedule: Distance Learning on TV
Testing Resources

Attendance and Grading

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) continues to follow the state and local guidance in collection of student and teacher attendance. There is currently a procedure in place to identify the process in which attendance is both collected and reported for both students and teachers. 

PGCPS is responsible for identifying, collecting and transmitting data to local, state and federal agencies for purposes of compliance, accountability and school system funding for student attendance. Strong monitoring of systems, implementation of a streamlined process, and using objective and accurate data related to attendance collection is crucial. Physical and virtual attendance of staff and students will be collected in the 2020-2021 school year and daily attendance procedures will be communicated so all stakeholders know PGCPS’ definition of being considered present. 

Attendance for Students During Distance Learning 

For all distance learning platforms, students not present on days live instruction occurs will be considered absent. 

On days when students are unable to attend scheduled classes due to illness, parent work schedule, and child care; parents must communicate the reason for the student’s absence via email to the student's classroom teacher. All work assigned during the student’s absence remains required for submission. Live recordings and student assignments will be made available to students via Google Classroom. 

During distance learning only, technical issues such as broken equipment or internet outages must be immediately communicated to the student’s teacher and designated school staff so support can be provided as soon as possible. A new absence reason code, has been created to reflect when students are unable to participate in live instruction due to technological difficulties. Although parents may see “absent” reflected in SchoolMax for the day the issue occurred, the student will be considered “present” when the new absence reason code “TC” is entered.

  • Elementary Schools

    • Teachers will take attendance at the beginning of each day in SchoolMax. 

    • For Pre-K - third grade students who are unable to check in during live instruction, parents must ensure that the check in is completed before the next instructional day. If parents are unable to check in that day, please contact your child’s teacher via email so assistance can be provided. 

  • Secondary Schools (Middle and High School) 

    • Teachers can use a variety of ways to determine students’ presence for a class such as: 

      • taking roll to assess each student’s attendance and enter the “present” or “absent” status directly into SchoolMax each period; 

      • using the Zoom reports (that displays student’s PGCPS login information) to validate student’s attendance; or 

      • using the first assignment of the day as a student check-in. An assignment is set in the Google Classroom for a set period of time and students must login and check in within that period of time. 

  • Evening Programs

    • Students attending evening programs on Tuesday and Thursday will be marked “present” when they submit asynchronous assignments or are in attendance for scheduled live instruction according to program requirements.

Attendance for Students During Face-to-Face Hybrid 

  • Face-to-Face Hybrid Model of Instruction: Teachers will take daily/period attendance of face-to-face learners in SchoolMax on days students are scheduled to physically attend school. 

  • For days students are scheduled for asynchronous/distance learning, a reason code (DL - Distance Learning) will be used in SchoolMax for students who complete the check in assignment. This assignment will be set in the Google Classroom and students must login and complete the check in as designated by the teacher. 

  • The DL code denotes the student was present for asynchronous instruction. 

  • Students who do not complete the check in assignment will be considered absent. Pre-K through third grade students are exempt from this requirement. 

The Technology Instructional Team (T3) will provide training for teachers on how to access Zoom reports for Attendance. School-based attendance manager monitors and ensures fidelity and reporting of daily attendance. For additional information on our attendance procedures, please see Administrative Procedure AP 5113. 

Student attendance for Wednesday instruction will occur as follows: 

A student will be counted as present in SchoolMax, if the student does one or more of the following: 


  • Submit an assignment to one of their teachers; 
  • Engage in synchronous instruction or tutoring with an PGCPS teacher; 
  • Meet online with a PGCPS teacher or service provider; or 
  • Complete work in our supplemental online education tools where applicable (i.e.  DreamBox, i-Ready and iRead)


Dress Code and Uniform Expectations

During the distance learning phase of instruction (August 31 - January 29) students are not expected to wear a school uniform.  Students must adhere to the system-wide dress code which requires students to dress appropriately.  Further details can be found in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.  When a decision is made concerning the reopening of schools, individual schools, with uniform policies, will determine the feasibility of continuing the school year with or without a uniform as it may be difficult to acquire school uniform attire mid-year.

Disconnected Youth

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is committed to ensuring that 100% of our enrolled students are participating in distance learning. With the support of nonprofit partners, Community School Coordinators and Pupil Personnel Workers, PGCPS will coordinate virtual home visits, phone calls, and distribution of technology devices directly to students to ensure they are fully engaged in the virtual learning experience.


Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is committed to providing our students with an educational program based on instructional practices that are rooted in educational research and support student achievement. To support these efforts and establish a system where assignments and assessment both inform and drive instruction as well as provide an accurate measure of a student’s academic achievement, we will incorporate an equitable grading practice in every content area to ensure all learners’ academic success is measured with fidelity.

A systemic grading procedure provides guidance to administrators and teachers in the implementation of the grading and reporting systems to be used in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and Grades 1 through 12 in all elementary, middle, and high schools and regional centers in Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Progress Reports and Report Cards for the 2020-2021 School Year

During the 2020-2021 school year, progress report grades and report card grades will be available in SchoolMax after every marking period.  Students will be able to log into SchoolMax to view their grades at any time throughout the school year.  Parents can also receive an account to access their child's grades on the SchoolMax family portal.  Report cards will be printed and mailed home to all families at the end of 2nd quarter and 4th quarter.

CTE, Apprenticeship, Internship and Work-Based Learning

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) offer high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to participate in Apprenticeship, Internship and Work-Based Learning programs. As we continue to navigate COVID-19 each program offering may offer virtual and face-to-face instructional experiences.

CTE programs will use online, industry- recognized and approved resources. Students may participate in simulations instead of physical participation where permitted. PGCPS is working with industry partners and Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) to develop virtual labs/practicums for obtaining licensure or certifications.

Dual Enrollment Program

Due to the current COVID-19 health crisis, fall and spring semester dual enrollment participation may be limited or restricted at some institutions. The PGCPS’ Office of College Readiness will continue to work with Maryland public institutions to offer options for students interested in participation in the PGCPS Dual Enrollment program. Students will participate in dual enrollment virtually from their homes or on the college campus as designated by the specific college or university. If courses occur on the college campus, students must provide their own transportation.

English Language Learners

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers will continue to provide language support services to English Learners on a regularly scheduled basis. The following are considerations for English Learners:

  • Elementary:  During distance learning live lessons, English Learners may join breakout sessions with their ESOL teacher during a portion of the instructional block.
  • Secondary:  English Learners should be scheduled for co-taught classes or a separate ESOL Language course.
  • ESOL teachers will continue to provide targeted language instruction for English Learners at all language proficiency levels during both face-to-face and online instruction.

Orientation- Mock Day of Distance Learning

Every school in the district will provide an opportunity for students to conduct a walkthrough of their schedule on the morning of Friday, August 28, 2020. Specific orientation information for PreK, Kindergarten and transitioning students new to middle school and 9th grade will be provided on the same date. Information regarding the walkthrough day will be posted on PGCPS and school websites and sent out through robocalls.

Outdoor Instruction

As we consider strategies for providing robust distance learning and eventually safely reopening schools, students should participate in a combination of facilitated and independent learning experiences related to Environmental Education and Outdoor Learning. Environmental Education is an interdisciplinary process that helps people learn more about connections to natural systems fostering environmental literacy and civic engagement. Outdoor learning includes those activities that allow students to discover, experiment, learn about and connect to the natural world and engage in environmental and recreational activities. In PGCPS, students will have access to participate in virtual outdoor exploration experiences curated by staff at the William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center and the Howard B. Owens Science Center. In addition, activities recommended by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education include utilizing outdoor spaces for learning, identifying the birds you see outside your window, DIY Park Quests, or locating specific trees or plants in your neighborhood.



Section 504


Students with Section 504 Plans will receive accommodations documented in their 504 Plan and/or comparable supports that are appropriate for the virtual learning model to ensure access in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for the 2020-2021 school year.  Parent/guardian participation will be requested for Section 504 meetings, which will be held virtually to update the 504 Plan and identify accessibility accommodations for both the virtual and physical setting learning models.  All referrals and requests must be submitted to the Professional School Counselor at your child’s school of enrollment.  

The Section 504 Procedural Safeguards explains the Section 504 referral, evaluation and plan development process. It includes a list of federally protected parent rights, tips for parents and steps for resolving concerns.  They have been provided below for reference:  


Social-Emotional Learning

After prolonged closure due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, both students and staff will require support to assist them in transitioning back to school and work. PGCPS will identify and enhance supports focused on social-emotional learning both in-person and through distance

learning. During the pre-service week, from August 20-28, 2020, all staff will participate in a series of professional development sessions on social-emotional learning and mental health supports that will assist them with reopening and provide strategies for supporting their students, whether returning with a hybrid or distance learning structure. Additionally, all PGCPS employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which offers face-to-face and virtual counseling.

Social-Emotional programming will focus on the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) five competence domains, which include:

  • Competence in the self-awareness domain
  • Competence in the self-management domain
  • Competence in the social awareness domain
  • Relationship skills
  • Responsible decision making

Special Education

Special Education teachers will continue to service students based on Individualized Education Program (IEPs). The following are considerations for students with disabilities: 

  • Co-taught classrooms and support inclusion classrooms must maintain a 50% general education and special education split to meet State Least Restrictive Environment (LRE A).
  • Elementary: Reading and mathematics interventions for elementary students with disabilities must be provided in accordance with their IEPs – both face-to-face (when it is safe to do so) and online.
  • Middle: Reading and mathematics interventions for middle school students with disabilities must be provided in accordance with their IEPs.  Academic Resource and/or reading enrichment courses must be scheduled to accommodate the implementation of interventions. This can be done during the scheduled class period.  Additional intervention time can be provided on Wednesday as needed.
  • High: Reading and mathematics interventions for high school students with disabilities must be provided in accordance with their IEPs.  Academic Resource and/or Read 180  can be scheduled to accommodate the implementation of interventions. This can be done during the scheduled class period.  Additional intervention time can be provided on Wednesday as needed
  • IEP meetings will be scheduled and held virtually with parent permission in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) timelines and procedures.
  • Related and support services (speech and language, vision, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc.) will be provided through push-in and pull-out sessions (virtually and/or face-to-face) Monday-Friday in accordance with a student’s IEP.
  • Related services providers will provide services with the same frequency as indicated in the IEP to the extent possible as part of the online distance learning structure. In the event that a specified related service cannot be delivered virtually, the IEP team (in collaboration with the parent) will use the IEP amendment process to determine what services and supports will be provided to allow the student to have access to the general education curriculum.

Specialty Programs

Students participating in Specialty Programs will continue to receive instruction tailored to their program of study from their assigned teachers. Information and the timeline regarding the application, screening and identification process for participation in Specialty Programs for the 2021-2022 school year will be available in fall 2020. A virtual Specialty Showcase will be planned for all stakeholders.  

Talented and Gifted

TAG Pull Out: Primary and Intermediate Pull-out groups meet at least 2 hours a week from October 1 - June 5. TAG-identified students in Grades 2 and 3 are the primary group and grades 4 and 5 students are the intermediate group.  During the First Semester of SY 2020-2021, both primary and intermediate pull-out groups will implement the Renzulli Learning on-line program and the First in Math on-line program.

TAG in the Regular Classroom (TRC): Classroom teachers will provide differentiation, enrichment and acceleration based on students’ academic needs. The TAG Office will provide ongoing professional development on best practices in Talented and Gifted Instruction in a virtual environment.


Technology and Software

All teachers throughout PGCPS will continue to have a device assigned to them. During the 2020-2021 school year, the Office of Technology will assign a laptop or device to staff members who previously were not included in technology distribution to include paraeducators who are assigned to support teachers and students during remote learning. Devices for staff will be distributed through the Technology Distribution Center (TDC) located at DuVal and Gwynn Park high schools. Schools will continue to serve as the distribution site for all devices and instructional materials for students. The TDC will distribute additional devices to schools, as needed, to ensure personnel are equipped with enough devices to support their student enrollment with an assigned Chromebook to students Grades 1 through 12 or an iPad for infant and toddler students, 3-year olds, prekindergarten and kindergarten and students in regional/CRI programs.
Recommendations specific to the distribution and use of computers and software are outlined below:
  • Computers:  Students are expected to use or bring their computer, fully charged, to and from school each day. Computer lab usage should be minimized. If labs are used by students, assigned times should be spaced to ensure time for cleaning between usage.
  • Digital Organization:  In order to assist students and teachers with digital organization in both fully virtual and hybrid learning, PGCPS has adopted Hapara, a Classroom Management System that provides teachers with a space to monitor assignments and projects that can easily be differentiated for groups or individuals. The Hapara student dashboard gives learners access to all of their assignments in Google Classroom, Google Drive and Hapara Workspace in one convenient location. Student Dashboard helps learners build the organization and management skills that they need to be successful in a connected world.

Distance Learning Instructional Materials and Resources

All students will have access to instructional materials for use at home during distance learning. Each student will receive instructional materials based on his or her grade level and/or course of study.

Materials may include, but not limited to:

  • hard copy of textbook (if textbook is not digital)
  • musical instrument
  • art supplies
  • assistive technology devices and adaptive equipment (students with accommodations)
  • consumable books
  • digital device (for students who never received a device)
  • headphones for text-to-speech (students with accommodations/interventions)
  • literature specific to content
  • manipulatives
  • non consumable textbooks
  • novels

Dates and Times to Retrieve Materials

Specific information on the distribution of instructional materials will be shared in August from your child’s school



    PGCPS’ assessment program will focus on state, district, and locally created assessments to provide student performance data and help staff identify students’ learning needs to plan for upcoming distance learning and instruction during the 2020-2021 school year.  Assessments geared to this purpose will be prioritized in PGCPS’ assessment program and be provided in an online test administration platform on technology devices provided to all students by PGCPS.  The online testing platform will also provide accommodations and accessibility features for students who have them designated in Individual Education Programs and/or 504 plans.  Resources, training sessions, and technical assistance will be provided to school-based and central office staff to support effective and appropriate assessment practices in a distance learning environment, including limitations tied to test security, fidelity in assessment administration, and data analyzation.

    Television Schedule

    As we begin the 2020-21 school year, the Office of Instructional Technology is partnering with schools to provide each student with a device to participate in online learning. Due to a national shortage of computers and tablets and long shipping delays, new students may not have yet received their devices. In an effort for every student to engage in instruction, elementary videos (Pre-K through fifth grade) will be broadcast on PGCPS-TV, starting Monday, Aug. 31 through September 18, 2020. These videos will cover Reading, Math, Science and Social Studies courses, aligned with current classroom content to ensure that students will be on pace when they transition to online learning.

    Watch PGCPS-TV on Verizon Channel 38, Comcast Channel 96 or PGCPS-TV online

    Art, Dance, Music and Physical Education lessons will also be broadcast along with weekly Montessori Moments and language immersion lessons.

    The TV Schedule is listed below.







    8 a.m.

    Pre-K -




    Kindergarten Chinese 




    8:30 a.m.




    Independent Practice/

    Check-in with Teacher



    9 a.m.

    Grade 1

    9:30 a.m.

    Grade 2

    10 a.m.

    Grade 3

    10:30 a.m.

    Grade 4

    11 a.m.

    Grade 5

    11:30 a.m.


    Social Studies


    Social Studies



    Grade 1

    12:30 p.m.

    Grade 2

    1 p.m.

    Grade 3

    1:30 p.m.

    Grade 4

    2 p.m.

    Grade 5

    2:30 p.m.





    Physical Education

    Visual Art

    3 p.m.

    Grades 1-2

    3:30 p.m.

    Grades 3-5

    4 p.m.


    Kindergarten French/ELA Immersion 

    Kindergarten Spanish/ELA Immersion 

    Kindergarten French/ELA Immersion

    Kindergarten Spanish/ELA Immersion