How do you feel about going back to school in the fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues?
This fall Maryland schools are expected to reopen to continue to let students learning in class, whether it’s in person or online, or a combination of both. The Maryland State Department of Education is requiring school systems to post their plans on their respective websites by Aug. 14.
“Daily school operations will likely include increased health and hygiene measures such as wearing masks, temperature checks, hand-washing, frequent sanitation, and social distancing, especially for elementary students,” the Maryland State Department of Education wrote in its guidelines for reopening, released this spring. “Reduced class sizes may be expected to become the norm, consisting of students placed in the smallest classes possible with desks that are placed 6 feet apart,” education officials said. Face coverings would be encouraged in areas where this distance is not feasible.
Assemblies and other large school functions may be impossible. Physical education, art classes, IEP meetings, and parent-teacher conferences may be conducted by video chat. Parents may be restricted from visiting to prevent the spread of the virus. In the back-to-school guidelines state education officials released as Maryland entered stage two of its reopening, they outlined areas that would require new protocols, such as cleaning and disinfecting, transportation, meal service, classroom layout, isolation, remote learning and more.
School days may be staggered in block schedules. The guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of students, staff, and families while remaining flexible, responsive, and achievable in the K-12 setting. These are guidelines, not mandates. School administrators have been advised to review the guidance, adapt the strategies for their respective districts, and develop plans for communicating the plans to families and the public.
Some parents are hesitant to send their children back to school with fears of potentially exposing their kids — and themselves — to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
How are you feeling about schools reopening in the fall? Take the survey below to share your thoughts.