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Baltimore Co. School weighing options for restart

Posted at 11:25 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 07:34:33-04

TOWSON, Md. — The Baltimore County Public School system is looking at 3 scenarios for the start of the fall semester.

A spokesperson for the district saying those scenarios are condition based, not time based.

The plan to reopen is a moving target for school boards all over the country.

During a virtual school board meeting Tuesday Night Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams laid out his thoughts on next year.

“Not only do we have to address the teaching and learning, but the social well-being of our staff and students,” said a Williams. “To that end I’m leaning towards a virtual return with some type of phased in approach after we open. Perhaps looking at the transition years particularly those in Kindergarten, grade six and grade nine.”

The district outlined how they created the 3 plans from over 50,000 responded from union leaders, teachers, parents, and students.

BCPS School Board member Lisa Mack brought several questions she’s heard from parents to the meeting.

“People are asking questions like what is the remote learning going to look like? How many hours? Will they be graded assignments? Is attendance going to be required? Will students get comments on their assignments like essays?”

In the first scenario the district would continue with an enhanced version of Remote learning.

That would be if Maryland and Baltimore County are back in Phase 1 of reopening.

This is the preference of the Baltimore County Teachers Union no matter what phase the county is in.

The second scenario a combination of in person and remote learning.

Schools open at 30-35% capacity with students on a 3 week rotation or at 50% capacity on a 2 week rotation.

In that scenario students would be in class Monday thru Thursday and teachers would be there everyday with Friday as a planning day.

Third scenario-100% in person learning.

This would happen if Baltimore County is in Phase 3 of reopening.

In any scenario, they are looking at changes to things like meals for students and transportation.

Other major concerns addressed were how they will handle IT, And what happens if students and teachers test positive.

The district said they will also review ventilation and cleaning in the buildings.

Cheryl Pasteur, the Board member for District 3 said it makes the most sense to start virtually.

“ It’s easier to move people into the buildings than it is to put them in the buildings and have to pull them out,” Pasteur said.

The first day of school is scheduled for September 8th.

Baltimore county and all public schools must publish their recovery plan by August 14th.