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A Baltimore City Schools Update from CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises

School_bus_Bernd Moehle_wikimediaCC.jpeg
Baltimore is one of many US school districts facing a severe, pandemic-related shortage of school bus drivers. Baltimore City offers parents a $250 monthly transportation stipend, but ride-share costs usually far exceed that. (photo by Bernard Moehle/Wikimedia/CC)

Tom's Newsmaker guest today is Dr. Sonja Santelises, the CEO of the Baltimore City Public Schools.

Dr. Sonja Santelises has served as President and CEO of Baltimore City Schools since 2016 (BCPS)

Students and teachers have returned to their classrooms. Teachers and staff are required to be vaccinated, and everybody is wearing masks while indoors. As Liz Bowie reports in the Baltimore Sun: the City School system is the only one in the Baltimore metro region that tests unvaccinated students and staff weekly. It’s an expensive program, but it has turned up dozens of asymptomatic cases, and along with mask mandates, it’s credited with keeping outbreaks to a minimum.

While the system copes with the on-going challenges of COVID, the challenges of kids who experienced learning loss when they weren’t able to be in-person last year continue to be a high priority for educators.

We discuss these and other issues in the city school system, and welcome listeners comments and questions, as Dr. Sonja Santelises joins us on Zoom.

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