RE­OPEN­ING

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Tei­gland em­pha­sized that stu­dents would not be able to switch be­tween in-per­son and vir­tual in­struc­tion at will, and would be re­quired to come to school ac­cord­ing to the hy­brid sched­ule which the district sets.

“If they do not show up to school, they will be marked ab­sent. They can’t just go back and forth from face-to-face to vir­tual,” she said. “This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for older learn­ers who might wake up in the morn­ing and not want to come to school.”

She added that schools would be lib­eral in ac­com­mo­dat­ing changes due to health con­cerns.

“If a stu­dent is tested pos­i­tive for COVID, we’re go­ing to let them go back out vir­tu­ally,” she said. “In sit­u­a­tions that are ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances, par­ents just have to reach out to their child’s coun­selor or school prin­ci­pal, and we will work with those fam­i­lies.”

Christie Stephens, a board mem­ber rep­re­sent­ing Ris­ing Sun, asked whether teach­ers would be ex­pected to bal­ance both in-per­son and re­mote learn­ers at the same time, as well as whether stu­dents in the class­room would still pri­mar­ily be learn­ing through an on­line plat­form.

As they move into hy­brid re­open­ing, teach­ers may be re­spon­si­ble for both face-to-face and re­mote in­struc­tion, Tei­gland said. The de­mands on teach­ers may vary from school to school, day to day and even les­son to les­son, she added.

“We want it to be as nor­mal as pos­si­ble for kids, but our priority is to get kids into the build­ing so that they can be mon­i­tored,” she

STORE WIDE SALE said. “There is a way to do it. We just have to make cer­tain that the num­bers are ra­tio­nal so that it’s not over­whelm­ing for teach­ers.”

She went on to say that the plans would be con­sis­tent by grade level, so that stu­dents at Thom­son Es­tates and Calvert Ele­men­tary would fol­low the same sched­ule of in-per­son and vir­tual learn­ing. As the roll­out pro­ceeds, in­di­vid­ual school lead­ers will have free­dom to make ad­just­ments as makes sense.

“It’s a puz­zle right now,” she said. Busi­ness as usual

In a rare respite from talk­ing about the COVID-19 pan­demic, board mem­bers also dis­cussed and ap­proved the $217,934,112 bud­get for the up­com­ing fis­cal year.

While the op­er­at­ing bud­get is up 4.1 per­cent from last year’s $209,355492, the up­com­ing year’s fund bal­ance is at $9,792,387, down 25 per­cent from last year’s bal­ance of $12,637,280. That in­cludes about $5.4 mil­lion to cover ex­penses, and an­other $3 mil­lion for health­care con­tin­gency, leaving a bud­get con­tin­gency of about $822,000.

Law­son also up­dated the board on plans for a North East Mid­dle School re­place­ment project.

Af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions through the sum­mer, the board voted to ap­prove the pur­chase of a 20-acre prop­erty ad­ja­cent to the North East High School cam­pus on Ir­ish­town Road for $1,850,000. The project will fol­low the Ch­e­sa­peake City Ele­men­tary School re­place­ment project, which is in its fi­nal year of fund­ing and on track for its tar­get com­ple­tion date.

The pur­chase, Law­son said, will move for­ward next week.

“With all due re­spect to COVID plan­ning, the chance to build a new school for the North East com­mu­nity — it’s just some­thing we’re re­ally, re­ally ex­cited about,” Law­son said. 10% TO 50% OFF OF ALL MER­CHAN­DISE

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