Anne Arundel Co. Schools rule out three reopening proposals

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 15, 2020

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Anne Arundel County Public Schools are continuing to explore options on how to resume classes this fall.

But on Wednesday, County Superintendent George Arlotto took the following three proposals off the table.

  • A/B days. Alternating student schedules on successive days creates significant issues related to cleaning of school buildings and childcare issues for families. Still under consideration in a hybrid model, however, is a scenario in which a cohort of students attends school on two consecutive days and a second cohort of students attends on two other consecutive days during a week.
  • Full buses. In any transportation scenario, one student would sit in each row of a bus, with the exception that siblings in the same family could sit in the same row. The seat behind the driver would be left empty and another row would be left empty for a bus aide if one is assigned to the bus.
  • Full classrooms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines call for 6 feet of physical distancing. On average across the system, this means no more than 10 to 12 students per classroom, depending on the configuration of the space.

Dr. Arlotto previously announced that same-day split sessions and an A/B/C day rotation were no longer under consideration.

Some ideas still under consideration include all in-person, all virtual, or hybrid learning in which all students would participate in eTeaching while some attend in-person classes twice a week.

A plan is expected to be finalized and submitted to the State Department of Education for approval by the end of July.

In a joint statement, the Teachers Association and Secretaries and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County, along with the Association of Educational Leaders said they prefer to start the school year virtually for safety reasons.

"We support a virtual return to start the school year rather than a return to physical school buildings in September because it is the safest option for our students, educators, and families. We believe that at the present time there is still much work to secure proper safety and health protocols to ensure the well-being of all students and staff of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. While many considerations have been made in the best interests of providing the highest quality education for all students in Anne Arundel County, there are still more questions to be answered."

On Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan said State Superintendent Karen Salmon would provide a status update next week.

Salmon had previously given schools until August 14, to submit their plans.