School board in Anne Arundel County could again consider hybrid education plan

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education could take another vote on a hybrid education plan at its next meeting Wednesday.|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||The school superintendent presented a plan to the board Monday night that detailed bringing students and teachers back to the classroom starting later this month. The board voted it down.The hybrid education plan would have teachers back in the classroom on Oct. 26 with some instruction for students starting later that week. That would mean some students would learn in person while others would log on from home.Under the plan, elementary school students would return to the classroom in November. Those students would attend only two classes a week in person.”The hybrid plan is going to be tough for people. It’s going to be messy, it’s going to be tricky, and logistically very difficult,” Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said. The county’s health officer explained that because younger children don’t have as great a risk of transmitting the virus, it’s easier to have them return to the classroom.”We see that there are differences in our ability to keep classrooms open, depending on whether it’s elementary, middle or high school. And so at the higher case rates, we’re better able to keep elementary schools open, whereas for middle and certainly for high school, it just becomes prohibitive because of the number of students and interactions that are there,” Anne Arundel Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said.It’s a plan that, on paper, has generated a lot of response from the county teacher’s union, especially when it comes to building safety.”This would now put 12 to 13 people together in a room all day together. We want to make sure that the safety measures are in place, they’re going to be enforced and enforced consistently,” said Russell Leone, president of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County.The teachers’ union plans to hold a car caravan outside school headquarters during Wednesday’s scheduled meeting, demanding to be part of the reopening discussion.The teachers’ union said the Board of Education hasn’t collaborated with teachers.The superintendent recently released a statement saying all of the district’s reopening committees have included teachers.The Board of Education is also discussing on Tuesday the return of fall sports.County Executive Steuart Pittman acknowledged it’s a question that’s difficult to address, saying: “It’s such a difficult decision given that we have our Rec and Parks teams playing and our school teams are not, and it’s a situation that was created, I think, by, I would say, failure on the part of the state to plan in advance.”Parents of Anne Arundel County high school students held a “Let Them Play” rally Monday night, pushing to resume school athletics activities. Under Gov. Larry Hogan’s updated guidance, schools may resume fall sports practices as soon as Wednesday.However, Anne Arundel County officials said the county will not move forward at that time. While the state is giving the OK, each school system can make their own decisions.

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education could take another vote on a hybrid education plan at its next meeting Wednesday.

|| Coronavirus updates | Maryland’s latest numbers | Where to get tested ||

The school superintendent presented a plan to the board Monday night that detailed bringing students and teachers back to the classroom starting later this month. The board voted it down.

The hybrid education plan would have teachers back in the classroom on Oct. 26 with some instruction for students starting later that week. That would mean some students would learn in person while others would log on from home.

Under the plan, elementary school students would return to the classroom in November. Those students would attend only two classes a week in person.

“The hybrid plan is going to be tough for people. It’s going to be messy, it’s going to be tricky, and logistically very difficult,” Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said.

The county’s health officer explained that because younger children don’t have as great a risk of transmitting the virus, it’s easier to have them return to the classroom.

“We see that there are differences in our ability to keep classrooms open, depending on whether it’s elementary, middle or high school. And so at the higher case rates, we’re better able to keep elementary schools open, whereas for middle and certainly for high school, it just becomes prohibitive because of the number of students and interactions that are there,” Anne Arundel Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman said.

It’s a plan that, on paper, has generated a lot of response from the county teacher’s union, especially when it comes to building safety.

“This would now put 12 to 13 people together in a room all day together. We want to make sure that the safety measures are in place, they’re going to be enforced and enforced consistently,” said Russell Leone, president of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County.

The teachers’ union plans to hold a car caravan outside school headquarters during Wednesday’s scheduled meeting, demanding to be part of the reopening discussion.

The teachers’ union said the Board of Education hasn’t collaborated with teachers.

The superintendent recently released a statement saying all of the district’s reopening committees have included teachers.

The Board of Education is also discussing on Tuesday the return of fall sports.

County Executive Steuart Pittman acknowledged it’s a question that’s difficult to address, saying: “It’s such a difficult decision given that we have our Rec and Parks teams playing and our school teams are not, and it’s a situation that was created, I think, by, I would say, failure on the part of the state to plan in advance.”

Parents of Anne Arundel County high school students held a “Let Them Play” rally Monday night, pushing to resume school athletics activities. Under Gov. Larry Hogan’s updated guidance, schools may resume fall sports practices as soon as Wednesday.

However, Anne Arundel County officials said the county will not move forward at that time. While the state is giving the OK, each school system can make their own decisions.

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