#schoolsafety | DC, Md. and Va. schools offer learning plans, free meals for students during coronavirus closures

Schools closed due to the coronavirus outbreak are providing students with lessons to keep their skills sharp as well as free meals to keep them fed.

With Virginia schools closing for the rest of the school year and other area schools closed for at least two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, many are providing students with lessons to keep their skills sharp as well as free meals to keep them fed.


From March 24 to April 24, students will take part in distance learning, with classes scheduled to resume on April 27. Public schools in D.C. have prepared resources for every level from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and for each graduation required course for grades 9 through 12. Free meals will be available to students every weekday during the closure from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at dozens of sites throughout the District.


Anne Arundel County Public Schools developed some instructional offerings for students until April 24.

The school system expanded its food program, so that children can get three free meals a day at 52 sites. The kids don’t have to be eligible for free or reduced-price meals, the school system said, but adults aren’t allowed to pick the food up for them.

The meals are available at 31 schools in the county and 21 mobile meal sites. You can check out where they are on the school system site.

Calvert County Public Schools is implementing an online learning program and is helping those students who may have difficulties getting access to internet. The Calvert County Department of Child Nutrition began distribution of free lunches at three locations in the county on March 18 to any children aged 4-18.

The sites are the Chesapeake Ranch Estates area, the White Sands area the Prince Frederick area and the Owings area. Meals can be picked up twice a week from 11 a.m.  12 p.m. — once on Monday for two days worth of meals, and once on Wednesday for three days worth of meals  

Charles County Public Schools said that upcoming assignments will focus on the core subjects of English, math, science and social studies. 

Free, temporary internet access will be provided at four school locations — Piccowaxen Middle School, Matthew Henson Middle School, T.C. Martin Elementary School and Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School.

Those accessing the internet at the locations can park in the front lot and connect to the WiFi, while remaining in their car to maintain social distancing.

The hotspots will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Jason Stoddard, CCPS director of school safety and security, said in a statement. He recommends not streaming videos using the free internet. Video surveillance is in place at the parking lots, and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office will regularly make rounds.

Charles County Public Schools is offering free, cold bagged lunches for any child ages 18 and younger.  

Frederick County Public Schools has a web page dedicated to how it is handling the coronavirus situation.

The school system is serving free breakfast and lunch to all children ages 18 and younger as well as adults older than 18 who are enrolled in an education program for persons with disabilities on weekdays during the shutdown at the Whittier Elementary School parking lot. 

Howard County Public Schools has set forth a continuity of learning plan for students with information on phases of learning through April 24 by grade. The Howard County Public School System will provide free “Grab-N-Go” meals to anyone ages 18 and under during the school closures on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. through April 24. 

Montgomery County Public Schools will launch the first phase of its online learning plan on Monday, March 30, with plans to reconnect with students, ensure teachers are trained to deliver classes remotely, make sure that students have technology resources that they need and to work on assignments for Marking Period 3. Find out more here. 

Learning activities and materials have also been made available online through a learning portal.

The school system is providing a limited number of laptops to students who do not have access to computers.

MCPS said that for families without internet access at home, Comcast is offering free internet access through its Internet Essentials program. MCPS  also has a limited number of mobile Wi-Fi hotspot devices that provide access to the internet.  These devices will be distributed at a later date.

The school system is operating 20 sites to provide “Grab-N-Go” meals for students. Free meals will be provided weekdays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. for all students under 18 years old. The county provided additional information on grades, SATs and other measures on March 27.

Prince George’s County Schools will begin distance learning on April 14.

Schools CEO Monica Goldson said during the week of March 30, teachers will begin training on how to deliver lessons online. Then late in the week, laptops will be distributed to students who don’t have a computer at home. It will be done drive-thru style at each school.

The school system will pay to provide internet access at home to students in need who do not have it.

During an emergency meeting on March 27, the school board approved a revised school calendar. The changes include moving the last day of school for students from June 12 to June 9.

The school district will release more details about its plans on Monday, March 30.

Enrichment packages are available for remote learning. You can find them here.

Additionally, during the closure, students can receive “grab and go” lunches twice a week starting Monday, April 6. Meals for Monday and Tuesday will be available for pick up each Monday, and meals for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be available each Wednesday.

There will be no meal service on Monday, April 13 due to spring break. One meal will be available on Tuesday, April 14 and the service will resume in full on Wednesday, April 15. 

The school system will provide meals at 43 different sites from 10 a.m. til 1 p.m. Parents can now pick up meals for students who are unable to do so themselves by showing a student ID or report card. Students are not required to show ID to receive meals.  

St. Mary’s County Public Schools has a detailed online learning program with instructional resources by grade. A drive-up lunch service will be provided for students aged 18 and under. 


Alexandria City Public schools has details on online resources and learning programs for students on its website. ACPS-TV will be running educational content from 9 a.m. – noon each day. More information will be sent out on Monday. Starting Monday, ACPS will be providing emergency meals at no cost for any child under 18 and any family who needs it – including free delivery.

Arlington County Public Schools sent instructional materials out for early childhood and elementary school students. Those in grades 6 – 12 will be able to access assignments using Canvas. The assignments will not be graded but assessments may be given to help teachers make additional plans. The school system will provide free “grab-and-go” breakfasts and lunches at two school sites. 

Fairfax County Public Schools announced its distance learning plan on March 26. The plan includes paper learning packets, video broadcasts, lessons/assignments and learning materials posted on Blackboard and completed individually and collaboratively, along with scheduled web chats.

High school, middle school and elementary school students will all engage in independent learning supported by teachers. Laptops will be distributed to students who need them.

Literacy and math content will be available on the school system’s cable Channel 21. The school system also announced plans for special education and English language learning.

Schools in the county are closed through March 27. During this time, lessons are provided to promote learning continuity. These are not graded. FCPS cable channels will air additional learning activities and instructional videos throughout the closure. The videos will also be available online. Food will be available for students at several locations (check here). CUE bus is offering free rides for families participating in the Grab and Go food program to and from Providence Elementary School. 

Falls Church City Public Schools is continuing their online lesson plans on Schoology through April 10 while it discusses ways to move forward after Northam’s announcement on cancelling classes for the remainder of the school year.

Fredericksburg City Public Schools has put together an online learning resources packet for students as schools are closed through the academic year in June.

Loudoun County Public Schools will hold spring break as planned from April 3-12. April 13 and April 14 will be teacher development days. New content will be taught remotely starting April 15. More plan details will be released at a school board meeting on April 7.

The school system also has learning resources online for students to continue learning through the school closures. There will be free breakfast and lunch provided at each public school. 

Manassas City Public Schools has details online on resources for students to learn at home after the announcement that schools are closed through the rest of the school year in June.

Prince William County Public Schools has a website detailing online learning programs for students to continue throughout the rest of the academic school year in June. The school system is providing packaged breakfasts and lunches to go at select locations throughout the county, to anyone under the age of 18. 

Stafford County Public Schools has a detailed online learning page with home learning resources for students. Information on meals for students during the coronavirus closure will be posted on the school system’s coronavirus page.

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WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report.

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