Schools reopening: Here’s how Maryland jurisdictions are planning for the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic

Jul 16, 2020 by

As the beginning of the 2020 school year approaches, Maryland counties are announcing plans and guidelines for holding classes while containing the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, federal officials including President Donald Trump have begun a push for all students to resume in-person learning, despite the high risk factors involved as outlined in a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leaked by The New York Times.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, in a live television appearance Sunday said the state is “not going to be rushed into this” given the uncertainties involved.

“Everybody would like to get our kids back in school as quickly as we can, but we also want to do it and make sure our kids are going to be as safe as possible,” he said. “From the beginning of this crisis, we have always been working closely with our doctors, scientists and epidemiologists to make sure we are doing the things that make the most sense.”

At a news conference Wednesday, the Republican governor said State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon would provide an update on schools reopening next week.

Here’s what the school systems are planning:

Anne Arundel

The county is still working to finalize a plan, but a recent survey showed that families prefer in-person learning in the fall at 49% but a combination of others preferred some incorporation of online learning at 52%.

The school system is looking at a hybrid in which students spend two days in school followed by a separate group of students spending two days in school, one student per bus row (with the exception of siblings) and no more than 10 or 12 students per classroom, according to a statement released Wednesday.

The county has said previously it has four main priorities for reopening: disinfecting of schools and buses, preparing to meet social distance requirements, preparing the school system for academic recovery, and communicating for the overall reopening process.

Some possible solutions Superintendent George Arlotto floated were holding lunch in classrooms instead of a cafeteria, having students and staff outside more often or decreasing movement around the school.

The committees ruled out a split day for morning and afternoon as well as a rotational schedule because it presents too many problems with cleaning and transporting children.

A final reopening decision for the school system is expected to be announced no later than late July.

Source: Schools reopening: Here’s how Maryland jurisdictions are planning for the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic – Baltimore Sun

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