ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Maryland’s Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Karen Salmon, told the state school board Tuesday that she has approved re-opening plans for in-person learning for every district in the state.
“All of the plans are either rated acceptable or comprehensive or everyone plans are okay,” said Dr. Salmon.
Local school systems had to meet 13 requirements for re-opening which included virtual and hybrid models.
Some requirements included: adopting health procedures outlined by MDH and the Maryland Department of Health and Center for Disease and Control, ensuring safe transport of students, and developing a system for tracking attendance.
In a presentation presented to the board dated September 17th:
- Allegany – phasing in small groups of students for in-person learning starting Sept. 21; phase-in at elementary by grade level will start on Oct. 5, where feasible
- Frederick – virtual through the first semester; begin with small groups on Sept. 14
- Montgomery – second semester; no commitment in plan to bring in small groups of students for in-person instruction earlier during the first fully virtual phase of reopening; LSS will make a determination regarding transition to in-person instruction for the second semester by the end of the first marking period
- Prince George’s – second semester; no commitment in plan to bring in small groups of students for in-person instruction earlier during the first fully virtual phase of reopening; LSS will make a determination regarding transition to in-person instruction for the second semester in Dec.
- Washington – will reopen (beginning Sept. 16) for all special education, 504, EL, and Pre-K students and students in transition
“But this does not necessarily change what districts need to do for in-person learning,” said President of the Maryland State Educators Association and a teacher, Cheryl Bost.
Bost said the announcement for schools to re-open has continued to leave teachers stunned as they prepared all summer to move forward with virtual learning.
“We need to have some knowledge ahead of time of what is going to happen so we can plan,” continued Bost. “…Do some short and long-ranged planning…Taking the curriculum to take from a classroom to a digital platform is not a simple conversion.”
Bost hopes when moving forward that educators are sitting at the “table” as these decisions are being made.
Some board members brought up the concern about PPE for teachers and staff, but state officials say while that will be a continued concerned each county has accounted for how they will provide PPE.