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City Schools preparing schools for students, expecting a "bumpy ride"

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jan 07, 2022

BALTIMORE — Students at city schools were off Friday because of the inclement weather, but school officials said for the kids who did show up Thursday those attendance numbers were lower than normal.

School officials like Andre Riley, who’s the Director of Communication for Baltimore City Schools said he figured it would be a bumpy ride coming back from winter break.

Now they’re encouraging everyone to get ready for next week, because they’re working overtime to make sure students and staff are safe going back to in-person learning.

“Just from observation, just from experience, we knew that coming back that we would have some reduced attendance," Riley said.

He said there were many factors that played a role in low attendance at city schools this week including weather, COVID and the implications around it.

“We also know that obviously some people contracted COVID or tested Positive over the holiday. And what we found last year and we’re finding it this year some families are just scared, they see the news they see the rising rates and they’re leery about sending their students back to an in person learning environment,” Riley said.

It's why school leaders are doing their best to communicate and remain transparent, to ensure parents their kids will be safe while at school. And next week they’re adding even more safety measures to help prevent outbreaks inside city schools.

“On Monday we’re returning to weekly testing for students and staff, it’s required for students and staff in our school buildings. We understand that there are fears and that there’s emotion. Our job is to do a couple of things first we want to encourage folks to get the vaccine and to get the booster. Experts say it’s the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus. We also will continue to follow our safety measures, wearing mask, having proper air filtration. We understand folks are concerned and our job is to communicate and do the best we can to keep everybody safe and we’re committed to that."

WMAR did request the data concerning all the students and staff who were COVID tested at city schools this week and we’re still waiting to hear back from school officials concerning the numbers.

To learn more about city schools new mitigation strategy to help combat covid click here.