ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — Anne Arundel County has asked their public school teachers to be back in their classrooms no later than February 17 and some smaller, specialty classes are asked to be in by Monday.
The COVID numbers have been improving and some vaccinations have started in the county, but Russell Leone, president of the AA County Teacher's Association, says the county hasn't supplied vaccinations to their teachers yet.
"So we are not giving the teachers the grace that they need in order to have that as an option for them to provide just that other level of mitigation strategy for when they are returning with their students," Leone said.
Having vaccinations are not a requirement from state and local health departments for teachers to return. Bob Mosier with Anne Arundel County Publics Schools says they are in a much better place to take care of classroom safety than they were just months ago.
"We have purchased five masks for everyone of our employees, we have hand sanitizer in every classroom, in every school. In our district we have elector static sprays to clean schools," Mosier said.
Although school officials want all their teachers in by February 17, that doesn't necessarily mean students will follow them into the classrooms right away.
County officials say a vaccine clinic will be set up at Severna Park High School for teachers when those vaccines become available. The county schools will start their sports seasons back up.
"A condensed fall sports season for about 4 weeks and then a spring competitive season. So, our baseball and softball and lacrosse teams and outdoor track and field will be able to compete," Mosier said.
"It's disheartening that the school system has decided that we don't need that last little bit of grace to prepare our teachers," Leone said.
Staff will be coming back to the central and satellite offices on a more regular bases as well.