We are faced with the inevitable reality that the remainder of the school year will need to continue online. In terms of student safety, this was an easy decision to make. However, when thinking about the passing of annual traditions, students who are ending their time at NCCS never to return to the building, and the missed chance to provide closure to our fifteenth year, it is a sad and difficult decision to make. Our last day of remote instruction for the 2019-2020 school year will be Thursday, June 4th.
We will continue to hold online instruction until Monday, May 18, 2020. We're very aware of all the different factors and "moving parts" to this pandemic, but we feel it best to continue making decisions in smaller chunks, rather than making a decision for an extended period of time.
Accordingly, at this time, while considering our president's mandate to continue social distancing guidelines through the entire month of April, as well as Governor Hogan's Stay at Home order that has no definitive end, we are now looking (and hoping and praying) for a Monday, May 4th re-opening. Obviously the situation at hand will require continued re-evaluation, so this date may once again be pushed back further, but for now, 5/4 is the earliest date we would feel comfortable resuming school operations. Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
As I'm sure many of you have heard, today, Governor Hogan and Dr. Salmon of MSDE have decided to continue with public school closures for an additional four weeks. Continued closures of sorts were obviously expected, given the uncertainty of the pandemic that is before us. I do want to make clear though, that the additional closures were a mandate only for public schools. As a private school, we are not mandated to follow what has been prescribed for the public school systems of Maryland. Accordingly, at this time, NCCS has decided to extend our suspension of operations for only an additional two weeks, with an anticipated restart date of Monday, April 13, 2020. I would, however, like to make some things clear about this decision, as well as provide some caveats to this.
First and foremost, we will continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of student and staff safety. There's no question that holding class in the next two weeks would be downright irresponsible and dangerous for our whole school community. Hence, our quick and decisive response to move our anticipated start date out another two weeks.
Secondly, while some may question the thought process of not just following the public school's decision we have received no information regarding what these closures mean to our school year calendar, requirements (if any) on making up days missed from the last two weeks, or if our plan for future instruction will even count as instructional days in terms of our mandated requirements. We, as an admin team, did not feel comfortable committing to more than two weeks of closures at this time, given the amount of uncertainty with the state.
Lastly, we do not have a crystal ball to know what the future holds. While we are hopeful and optimistic that this pandemic will soon subside, in reality, there's no way of knowing at this juncture. Some reports are forecasting May as the month in which things will subside. Nobody is quite certain, and accordingly, we are very aware and open to the idea of extending our start date another two weeks, or even longer. In our admin meetings, we've even discussed the terrible possibility that gathering in our school may be indeed be suspended until mid-May, or worse, for the remainder of the year. Anything is possible, but again, we wanted to be able to have the freedom and flexibility to make these decisions as they approach us, and not be bound to premature or reactionary decision-making.