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Online Classes This Fall For Baltimore County Students

Mary Rose Madden

Baltimore County Public School students will be receiving their instruction online for the first semester of the school year that begins in September.

That’s what the county school board decided Tuesday after some members sought flexibility in the draft reopening planSchool Superintendent Darryl Williams presented to the board.

Several board members questioned whether the school system could reconsider the online decision after the first quarter.

“I do think we still need to revisit this and I do think that the board needs to be involved in the process,” said Julie Henn, vice-chair of the school board.

Williams said he wants parents and staff to be prepared for virtual instruction through the first semester.

“However, if things change, we want to be flexible that if after a quarter, and if it’s safe to do so, we can make that change,” Williams told the board.

According to the county’s draft school reopening plan, students will have live instruction 4 days a week. Each of those days, the students will receive between 2 and 3.5 hours of instruction.

Wednesdays will be for teacher planning and to reach out to students who need extra help.

Attendance will be taken daily. There will be time built into each day for lunch and so students can take a break from looking at their screens.

Teachers will get a day to go to their classrooms and pick up supplies they might need to teach from home.

“We want students, parents, caregivers, and the community to know we have been working diligently to ensure that virtual instruction in the fall will be rigorous and engaging,” Williams said.

The county’s reopening plan needs to be finalized by August 14, the deadline for submitting it to the Maryland State Department of Education.

Baltimore County joins Baltimore City, as well as Howard, Anne Arundel and Harford Counties in deciding to start the school year in September with virtual learning.

The decision was not unexpected. Williams told the school board last week he was leaning towards virtual learning for the start of the school year.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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