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Tracking when your school district will return to in-person learning

Posted at 10:30 AM, Jan 28, 2021

BALTIMORE — Amid pressure put on by Governor Larry Hogan and the State Department of Education, several school systems have released official time lines on when students can partially return to some form of in-person instruction.

Since last March, the halt to live in-class learning has been one of the most controversial debated topics throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents and some local politicians have held rallies and protests demanding schools reopen, while others including teachers unions have advocated for a slower approach, which in turn has stalled some districts previous plans to reopen.

It all came to a head last week, when Hogan and State Superintendent Karen Salmon demanded that schools somehow reopen by March 1.

Both cited research that shows continued closures affecting student social interaction causing some to fall behind in school, resulting in depression and anxiety.

Hogan called out teachers unions and went as far to threaten action should educators refuse to return to work.

That drew a quick rebuke from the Maryland State Education Association.

Nonetheless, many districts have since responded to Hogan's calls and have put together a plan to return.

WMAR-2 News has compiled the map below showing which schools are planning what.

Baltimore County was the last local system in the area to release a timeline to return. As it stands now, students and employees will have a hybrid option beginning March 1.

Originally their Superintendent Darryl Williams, had aimed to have small groups of students return for in-person instruction by October 19.

But threats of lawsuits by local teachers unions put those plans on the back burner.

On Monday a coalition of parents sued the school system, in an attempt to get a court order, forcing them to reopen.

For their part, the state has allocated $780 million in federal funding for schools to address COVID-19 concerns, including PPE supply.

The State Board of Education even put out guidance on how schools should ease back into the classroom.

Teachers and school staff have also been prioritized in receiving a vaccine, although supply thus far has fallen well short of demand throughout the state.

To keep track of which vaccination phase your county is in, click here.