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BCPS Superintendent Williams releases timeline of staff, student reentry to Baltimore County school buildings

UPDATE: BCPS’ reopening timeline has been revised.

Original story below…

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TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams on Thursday announced the school system’s timeline for staff and student reentry.

“Since the pandemic began, we have had two primary concerns – the health and wellbeing of our students, staff, and community and continuing to support our students’ academic progress,” said Williams. “As I announced on August 27, we have been considering guidance from Governor Hogan and State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon about a phased-in process for bringing small groups of students back to school buildings for in-person instruction. We have been particularly concerned about students who might benefit most from in-person instruction – students with disabilities and our youngest learners. Our new timeline for staff and student reentry focuses on providing in-person services to those two groups of students. More details will be forthcoming, but we are pleased to announce our first steps back toward in-person instruction for all students.”

All Baltimore County schools reopened virtually on September 8. Teachers who requested access were allowed to teach from their school buildings as of September 14.

Later this month and into early October, the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks, Y of Central Maryland, and local childcare providers will be opening Academic Support Centers for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. Some of these centers will be in BCPS elementary schools; others in area PAL Centers. The centers will offer full-day childcare included recreation, meals, and support for virtual learning. In total, more than 1,500 students will be served by these centers.

From Friday, October 2, through Friday, October 9, BCPS will survey parents of identified students about returning to school buildings for in-person instruction. This group of identified students includes both students with disabilities who attend separate public day schools and self-contained regional programs and students in preschool, PreKindergarten, and Kindergarten.

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Beginning Monday, October 19, all teachers and remaining school staff will return to work from their school buildings.

Small groups of identified students will return to school buildings for in-person instruction by Friday, November 13.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski issued the following statement regarding Thursday’s BCPS announcement:

“Baltimore County’s educators, parents, and students have faced unparalleled uncertainty during this crisis. They deserve collaborative planning and clear communication from the Baltimore County Public School System. Today’s announcement provided neither.

“My administration has consistently asked for specific updates about plans to reopen our schools. Instead, alongside our educators and parents, I learned the details of BCPS’ reopening announcement earlier today.

“As County Executive and a former teacher, I want to get all our kids back to the classroom as quickly as possible — especially our youngest learners and students with disabilities and special needs.

“That is best done together. As we move forward, I expect collaboration, communication and partnership between County officials, educators, and the families of Baltimore County.”

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