What health and safety precautions are being taken for Class of 2021 graduations?

In collaboration with the County Executive’s office, the Howard County Health Department, and Merriweather Post Pavilion, several measures have been implemented to allow commencement events to be held on site while maintaining COVID-safe practices. At this point, and in consultation with the Health Department, each graduating senior’s family will initially be provided two guest tickets for lawn seating.

Can I change my official student records?

HCPSS is required to maintain a mandatory permanent pupil record (“official record”) that includes a student’s legal name and legal gender. According to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the only official school records are Student Records Cards (1-7), transcripts and diplomas. On all documents and records other than those listed in the previous sentence, HCPSS shall use the name and gender preferred by the student with a process for masking.

How will schools handle a student who chooses to identify as a particular gender for improper purposes?

A school accepts a student’s sincere assertion of their gender identity. The only circumstance in which a school may question a student’s asserted gender identity is when school personnel have a credible basis for believing that the student’s gender-related identity is being asserted for some improper purpose. School administrators and student services staff will collaborate with students, families and other supporting adults.

How will teachers decide how students should be separated by gender when necessary?

Schools are reducing or eliminating the practice of separating students by gender (e.g., recess, choral groupings, physical education, etc.). In situations where students may be separated by gender for instructional purposes, such as for health instruction in puberty education, students are given the opportunity to choose their group.