Teachers Required to Return to Work After a Year of the Coronavirus Outbreak

Students Supporting Teachers From a Distance


Staff Photo by Virginia Bates

Sending a letter of encouragement to teachers as they prepare for return.

Virginia Bates, Editor: Shyann Snyder

The dreadful day of returning back to school is approaching for students in April. Teachers, however, are required to return tomorrow, Wednesday, March 17, according to PGCPS’s ” Return to Work Guide.” While some are comfortable at home they will have to adjust back to “normal.”

There will be no live instruction this Wednesday, an asynchronous day for students, but for teachers transitioning back into the building, time will be of the essence.

Teachers’ schedules for return-to-school on Wednesday will be as follows:

  • 7:15am: Arrival/Check-in
  • 7:15am-10:00am: Classroom preparation, key retrieval (when called), classroom preparation
  • 10:00am-11:00am: School-based professional development (via Zoom from Classrooms)
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: Lunch
  • 12:00-2:45pm: District-led Professional Development

Students will log in to Google Classroom to complete the attendance form, while teachers will walk inside their empty classrooms to prepare for in-person learning.

Office hours, clubs, and activities are also canceled unless you are directly contacted by a teacher. If teachers would still like to host office hours and activities on that day, they will use the regular Wednesday schedule.

Principal Dr. Brown is asking students to send letters of encouragement to teachers and staff members.

Students know about the anxiety teachers have with classroom engagement and managing work with students, as they have all done distance learning together. Teachers and students have discussed their struggles with this style of learning but also the advantages it has. Being home is safe with COVID-19 still growing in numbers. For almost over a year now, most have adjusted to learning from the comfort of home.

Teachers have to prepare to return with a certain procedure.

  • Completion of the “front line” health check-in prior to arrival on a Frontline Portal app.
  • Daily arrival at school no later than 7:15 am.
  • Temperature check in the admin lobby upon arrival.
  • Checking in via the daily check-in form that will be supplied on Monday once arriving in your classroom.

Teachers or employees with approved Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations or those who have chosen to retire or resign are the only exceptions to the PGCPS mandatory return to the work order.

“COVID-19 has challenged many people’s security and sense of control,” states the PGCPS guide for returning to schools.

This means returning to normal work, but it does not mean that there is no cause for anxiety. It is important to find a balance between personal well-being and responsibility for the work environment. After returning to the work order, COVID-19-related reservations may affect work obligations.

“I am uncertain and anxious about the return. I am not afraid, I don’t know what to think or feel,” Journalism teacher Zena Whitworth stated.

As the school system prepares to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland State Department of Education framework will be updated as required and following the current state and county government orders to ensure the health and welfare of workers.

As we change our school life again, this community can encourage each other. Students can contact their teachers and provide letters of encouragement, as Principal Dr. Brown suggested. Support your teachers as they supported you during these troubling times.