Education, Health, Sports

BCPS revises timeline for return to in-person learning; continues to work on plan for fall sports

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Public Schools has revised its timeline for a phased-in resumption of in-person learning. The revised timeline calls for staff to return to the school system’s four public separate day schools on Monday, Nov. 2, with students at those schools having the option to begin in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 16.

The schools to be impacted – Battle Monument, Maiden Choice, Ridge Ruxton, and White Oak – serve students with disabilities who receive special education and related services. According to the school system, the return of these students and staff will be closely monitored, and further adjustments will be made as necessary.
The timeline no longer calls for all staff to return to school buildings in October and no longer calls for identified preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten students to resume in-person learning in November.

“Making plans in this ever-changing landscape is challenging and requires flexibility,” said BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams. “Through it all, our priority continues to be the health and safety of our students and staff while maximizing learning and well-being. We are focused on providing rigorous and engaging instruction for all students and finding ways to provide in-person learning to those students who will benefit most.”

BCPS is seeking feedback from families and staff regarding the revised timeline. Families of students at the four schools slated to physically reopen in November will be surveyed from October 2 – 9 to indicate whether they want their children to return to the school building or continue online instruction. In addition, all BCPS stakeholders may send feedback to reopening@bcps.org for review by the BCPS Reopening Design Team and COVID-19 task force.

Fall sports

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Earlier this summer, BCPS convened a Return to Play Committee. This committee worked with school system medical staff and the Baltimore County Health Department to determine that, based on then-current health conditions, it would be safest for BCPS to begin the year with a virtual coaching and support program and move toward possible in-person athletics during the spring. This approach was endorsed by Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) guidance and supported by the MPSSAA’s eventual decision to cancel the start of athletics for fall 2020.

On Sept. 24, State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announced that schools may resume high school fall sports as soon as Oct. 7.

“I recognize that athletics plays a vital role in the educational success and engagement of students,” said Supt. Williams. “In light of the State Superintendent’s announcement, I am consulting with our Office of Athletics, athletic directors, Return to Play Committee, and Baltimore County Health Department to determine if and how adjustments to our plan can be safely made. If adjustments can be safely made, we will share those adjustments with the community.”

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