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100 Baltimore City students return for in-person learning during uptick in cases

Posted at 6:27 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 18:40:04-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — 100 Baltimore City special needs students returned for in person learning Monday during another uptick in COVID-19 cases across the city.

The school district said they have lots of precautions in place as COVID-19 cases continue to rise but the Baltimore Teachers Union wants the district to slow down.

"Our members are concerned and wondering why the district is continuing to move forward," said Cristina Duncan Evans, from the Baltimore Teachers Union.

The school system said it is taking precautions to prevent any spread by limiting the number of students per class to 7, requiring masks and sanitizing schools, specifically classrooms and bathrooms three times a day.

In a statement, Baltimore City Schools said health and safety is a top priority and they will continue to monitor the data and communicate with the health department.

Still, the union said their members are worried, especially with the district planning to return even more high priority students to the classrooms next week.

"At every step of the process, we’ve encountered failures. We’ve encountered safety gaps. We’ve encountered miscommunication. We’ve encountered delays. We’ve encountered chaos and this is just not how our school system should be running when the stakes are so high for failure," said Duncan Evans.

Evans said the union wants to district to slow down and stay fully virtual this semester.

She acknowledges that there are a lot of parents struggling with the virtual model, and would instead like to see more resources put in to making it better.

"We still have a lot of students that don’t have access to technology but rather than investing in making the virtual learning environment the best it could possibly be, because it could be far better, the school district has decided to divert necessary resources to try and run two completely different school districts at the same time," said Duncan Evans.

There’s a virtual the school board meeting Tuesday night and representatives from the teachers union plan to share their thoughts during public comment.