We're Not Going Back to School in February


Virginia Bates

We’re Not Going Back to School in February

With coronavirus cases skyrocketing, Prince George’s County Public Schools announced Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 that classes will begin online, until further notice.
Prince George’s County’s original plan was to have students return to class in February if deemed safe. The hybrid model would have started on February 1st, which is the first day of the second semester. The online schedules may have been maintained by students who favored interactive learning.

“We expect to see that from Thanksgiving, we expect to see that from winter break,” says Dr. Monica Goldson, the Chief Executive Officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS).

As predicted Prince George’s County tallied 2,312 coronavirus cases last week en route to passing 40,000 total infections. The County has reported 41,297 coronavirus infections are the most in the state. The virus is responsible for 906 county residents dying. The county also set a new record for the number of cases-per-day. That said Prince George’s County had the most prolific infection week of all time.
Using a barometer (to measure air pressure), when the local case rate drops below 5, Maryland health officials say extended in-person classes are probably safe. Prince George’s County’s case rate spiked to 40.94 on Wednesday.
So for now, PGCPS is deciding for students. Classes will stay online. Goldson said in July that the school district would not provide fully-in-person courses until at least the 2021-2022 school year.

“My hope is we will be able to get our students back in small groups back into school before the end of this year,”“But it won’t be February 1st.”

Goldson understands that distance learning has been a particular challenge for students, parents, and teachers. Nevertheless, she has not given up on the idea they may return at some point.

“Like you, I am hopeful that we will be able to welcome our students and teachers back to in-person learning once it is safe,” Dr. Goldson wrote Tuesday. “Together, we can, and we will, get through this unprecedented time. We are one community, one PGCPS.”