Public schools in Maryland will be closed for four more weeks, through April 24.
And school officials may, over the next four weeks, decide to extend the closure, Gov. Larry Hogan said at a press conference Wednesday. He called the idea that students will return to their classrooms in four weeks “somewhat aspirational.”
“None of us can say in four weeks, everything’s gonna be great,” he said. “It would be wonderful if we get to the point where we’ve bent the curve and we can, but obviously we’re not going to send kids back if things are unsafe and we’re still climbing and people are getting infected.”
Students were previously set to return to schools on Monday, March 30.
State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon said classwork over the next four weeks will look different in each school district.
“What I’m gonna try to do, because I think it’s really important for equity across the state, is to come up with what are the standards that we really expect to have to be the baseline that everybody gets,” Salmon said. “Then if other districts are able because they can do more remote distance learning, they can add onto that.”
Schools will consider “creative solutions” for making sure kids don’t fall behind, Salmon said. The school year may be extended, and students could be in school over the summer.
And she said to expect more information in the coming days about how schools are working to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
Salmon also said the state has identified childcare options for at least 1,200 school-aged children of workers whose jobs are classified as “essential.” She directed people seeking more information about these spots to call a hotline at 1-877-261-0060.
Anyone seeking information about getting meals for children who rely on schools for their meals can visit mdsummermeals.org.