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Unions push back on Anne Arundel School Board's call for more in-person class days

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Posted at 2:03 PM, May 20, 2021

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Members of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education on Thursday passed a motion calling for schools to reopen to students up to four days a week, for the remainder of the academic year.

The Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County and the Secretaries and Assistants Association are pushing back, saying it's too short notice and would disrupt the lives of students, staff and educators during the final weeks of the academic year.

“It is difficult to establish routines in the beginning of the school year in a normal year. With just 17 days left of possible in-person instruction, it is incredibly shortsighted and obtuse of the board to believe that this move will benefit our students in any way," Presidents Russell Leone and Helen Wilkerson said in a statement.

According to the school system, the changes could come for some students as early as May 24.

“While there are still some barriers to returning students to in-person learning, principals have been told clearly that, as a result of the Board’s decision, the number of desks in a classroom and the number of students on a bus will no longer be among them,” said Superintendent George Arlotto. “This is the next phase of reopening, and we will accomplish it as quickly as we possibly can.”

The school system warned there still could be some "classroom staffing challenges and similar issues related to the number of midday monitors, who supervise students in school buildings when teachers are on their lunch or planning periods, could prevent some students from returning to classrooms depending upon the specific circumstances at each school."

School principals are currently working to notify families of their options to return kids to school more days out of the week.