Education, Health, Politics

BCPS updates reopening plan to include option for phased-in hybrid learning

TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Public Schools has updated its reopening plan to include details about in-person instruction options for all students. Families may now choose to continue virtual learning or to begin hybrid learning, with timing driven by local and state health metrics.

The newly added information pertains to three groups of students. In the plan’s new Appendix N, guidance is provided for students in Grades 3 – 12 whose Individualized Education Programs include a least restrictive environment that is primarily outside of the general education classroom setting. This plan also includes students in select Career and Technical Education programs that require hands-on learning to earn professional licenses or certifications.

The new Appendix O is focused on the remaining students in Grades 3 – 12. Together with already released sections focused on students at public separate day schools (Appendix L) and students in Grades Preschool through 2 (Appendix M), the BCPS Reopening Plan now includes all students.

“I commend the educators and leaders who developed these crucial portions of our Reopening Plan, as we look ahead to the time when it will be safe to phase in in-person instruction for small groups of students,” said BCPS Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams. “Despite the ransomware attack, we will be ready to welcome students back into school buildings when local COVID-19 transmission is low.”

The newest portions of the plan were presented to the Board of Education of Baltimore County during its December 22, 2020, meeting, and are organized into three parts: Health and Safety, System and School Operations, and Instructional Model.

  • The Health and Safety section refers to Safety Is Our True North (Appendix A of the Reopening Plan), and addresses health metrics, a variety of mitigation strategies, compliance monitoring, screening, personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilation, health services, safety, and social and emotional learning.
  • The System and School Operations section includes information about how students will be placed in small groups, drop-off and pick-up, transportation, meals, attendance, visitors, and a questionnaire families will use to indicate whether or not students will return to school buildings for hybrid learning.
  • The Instructional Model section includes class assignments, how families can change student placements, schedules, the elementary model, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), special education, staffing, class layouts, and assessment.

The Reopening Plan will continue to be updated as the pandemic continues to evolve.

The full plan may be viewed here.

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