HARFORD COUNTY, Md. — Harford County elementary students returned to school on Monday, March 1. They were among several counties in the state to start reintroducing in-person learning.
Elementary students in Harford County will be in the buildings up to two days per week, and the district says middle and high school students will return to in-person learning one day per week on March 15.
Officials say the target date for elementary students to return to four days a week is March 29 and April 7 for secondary schools.
"We feel confident we can meet these target dates if we don’t experience high rates of quarantines, isolations, or outbreaks in our schools," said spokesperson Jillian Lader in a release. "If a change to this schedule is necessary, we will communicate that with families as soon as possible."
The Continuity of Learning plan for Harford County reflects the updated CDC guidelines that support additional days for students in the schools as well as guidance to monitor the COVID-19 metrics.
"Our county has seen a decrease in cases and we will continue to monitor this information as we move forward through the school year," Lader continues. "In addition to CDC guidance, HCPS has established multiple mitigation strategies like mask wearing, social distancing when and where possible, plexiglass, staying home when sick, and sanitization, to ensure precautions are in place. We are excited to share that HCPS nurses will be able to administer with parent/guardian permission, rapid antigen testing on site when a student begins to show COVID-like symptoms while at school. This strategy is in place as another layer to keep our schools open!"
Families and students who wish to remain virtual can as that option is available through the end of the 2020-2021 school year in all grade levels. In addition, elementary students who want to stay asynchronous for the remainder of the school year, may do so as well.
"HCPS is in the planning stages of implementing a blended virtual program that can accommodate students in grades K-12 for the 2021-2022 school year. Interested students will need to apply to the blended virtual program (eLearning). If accepted into the program students will be enrolled in the blended virtual program (eLearning) rather than their home school."