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Hogan: All schools statewide should move to get students back in school

| August 27, 2020, 04:57 PM

Rams Head

Governor Hogan, Dr. Karen Salmon (State Superintendent of Schools), and Dr. Jinlene Chan (Acting Deputy Health Secretary) today announced that they stongly encourage all schools statewide to move toward in-person learning by the end of the first marking period this fall.

Content Continues Below

Rams Head

Citing hearing from parents daily who are frustrated that their school districts are not reopening, Hogan is pressuring the schools to open and will be incentivizing them with a $10 million carrot in the form of grants available to schools that comply.

To open, the schools will need to comply with CDC and Maryland Health Department requirements which will include wearing face coverings at all times while on school property, maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting measures.

According to Chan, the metrics the state will recommend  for reopening include the following:

  • Test positivity should be below 5 percent over a seven-day period.
  • There should be 15 cases or fewer per 100,000 people.
  • Jurisdictions with higher case rates should be able to put in a hybrid model with some in-person instruction

Dr. Salmon said she is encouraing schools to re-valuate their plans and mode of instruction especially if they had not planned on any in-person instruction prior to January 2021.

Both the Governor and Salmon praised Calvert and Worcester Counties that were able to bring students back for summer learning.

This news was not received two well by the teacher’s unions:

Or the state legislative leadership:

And from the Maryland State Education Association President, Cheryl Bost:

At a time when educators are focused on working hard to make the best of this year for students, the governor and superintendent are focused on throwing school communities under the bus. We need collaboration and problem-solving, not political theater.

The governor and superintendent abdicated responsibility for creating reopening standards and told districts to come up with their own plans, indicating appropriate confidence that local school systems would do what is best for students. Today, they chose to ambush and second guess the hard decisions that local boards of education, parents, and educators have made to keep students and schools safe. In the continued absence of adequate state and federal funds to help schools open safely—to include measures such as rapid testing, certified ventilation systems, and needed PPE—this is a recipe for chaos, confusion, distrust, and deepening the inequities that too many of our students face.

Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto:

Since we began discussing the reopening of schools, we have said we would proceed aggressively but prudently to get our students and staff back into school buildings in a safe manner. We had another in a series of continuing conversations with the Department of Health today after learning of the new guidance through the Governor’s announcement.

We will begin the school year virtually because the metrics do not put us in a position to consider full in-person instruction at this time, but will continue to push forward with plans to hold small in-person instruction for some students with special needs and students at our Centers of Applied Technology. We are also continuing to plan for the logistical implementation of a safe hybrid learning model across our county as quickly as possible. That will not happen overnight, and it will require the collaborative efforts and willingness of our families, our teachers and other employees, and our contractors.

Rams Head

Category: COVID, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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