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Maryland State Education Association wants more transparency before returning to classrooms

| October 26, 2020, 04:30 PM

During a press conference today featuring Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) President and Baltimore County teacher Cheryl Bost, epidemiologist Meagan Fitzpatrick, and two classroom teachers, MSEA released a new poll on the safety precautions that Maryland educators want to see in place in schools. The following safety measures were supported by 90% or more of Maryland’s educators:

  • Daily sanitation of schools
  • Hand sanitizer available throughout buildings
  • Adequate air ventilation
  • Procedures in place for anyone who tests positive to be isolated and for contact tracing
  • PPE required for all school staff
  • PPE required for all students
  • Reduced class sizes to help with social distancing and individual attention for students
  • Plexiglass barriers in shared office spaces
  • Additional mental health staff

The poll also found that 77% of educators believe it is unlikely that schools will be able to physically reopen for full in-person learning in the next several months. A memo outlining these poll results can be found at this link.

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Today, MSEA also shared a checklist to assess the readiness of schools to safely welcome students and educators.  “All administrators, educators, and parents to should use this checklist in their schools to make sure their schools meet the clear safety standards that our own state leaders and health officials have developed,” said MSEA President Cheryl Bost. “This checklist is not asking for anything outrageous. It is asking for what is right. It is asking for what is safe.”

At today’s press conference, teachers Melinda Kearns and Pam Gaddy described a workload that is expanding to fill every hour. “Educators are working hard and are caught between political agendas, our school districts’ decisions, and ongoing debates on social media.  It’s exhausting—and it’s compounded by a workload that keeps growing,” said Kearns. “As I help out my students and their families, I know that I am sacrificing time with my husband and helping my own children in their education. It’s a daily struggle and battle that I am facing, and I know that I am not alone.”

“My workload, and that of so many other teachers, continues to spiral upward and place a great deal of stress on my ability and availability to do my best as a teacher and a parent,” said Gaddy. “The workload this year is probably 90% more than a typical year, and I’m regularly working from early in the morning to late into the night and throughout the weekend just to keep up.”

Below is a recording of the press conference along with several questions from the media. (Note: We had to leave early due to another commitment and were unable to get all of the questions on tape).

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Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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