BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD—Baltimore County Public Schools will offer selected students additional in-person academic support on Saturdays and/or after school, based on each school community’s specific needs. The initiatives, funded by the federal CARES grant, will be offered from April through June.
“This school year has been particularly challenging for our students – and for all of us,” said Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams. “We have endured isolation, grief, and uncertainty, and that has necessarily impacted student learning. We are excited that the CARES funding will allow us to do more to help many students make needed academic progress. We want all our students to thrive.”
“This concept was introduced to the Board of Education at its March 9 meeting,” said Board Chair Makeda Scott, “and I am pleased that we can now share more information with the public. The flexibility of this approach will enable each school to offer its students the assistance that will be most effective.”
School-based teams are planning customized programs to serve their students, and those plans will be approved by the respective executive director for the school zone. Schools will communicate their respective plans directly to their students and families.
The academic support programs will serve approximately 60 students per school, and schools have been asked to consider students who are not passing, students receiving specialized services such as students with disabilities and English Learners, student athletes, Career and Technical Education students who may need additional hours with hands-on equipment, and/or students who need support with executive functioning. Transportation will be provided for students who take the bus to and from Saturday school, and breakfast will be served during Saturday morning academic services.
Staffing will include up to four each teachers, para-educators, and adult assistants. The programs will be facilitated by school administrators and/or by a teacher leader hired using grant funds. Schools are designing their programs around specific data points and student needs; therefore, the teachers hired to support students will have the qualifications to support them based on the identified needs.
According to school system leaders, planning for these additional services is aligned with COVD-19 mitigation strategies. All students will remain in their assigned in-person/hybrid cohort.