The Dundalk Eagle

Mary­land ed­u­ca­tion moves for­ward as Stage 2 be­gins

- Illiteracy · Society · Education · Special Education · Maryland · University of Miami · Philadelphia Union · United States of America · U.S. Agriculture Department

Up­dates for Stage 2 of re­cov­ery ad­dresses sum­mer schools and meals, non­pub­lic spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion, child care and ath­let­ics.

Sum­mer School: Af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with lead­ing pub­lic health ex­perts, school sys­tems are now able to bring small groups of stu­dents and staff into school build­ings. Th­ese small groups would con­sist of 10-15 in­di­vid­u­als max­i­mum at a time in rooms within a school build­ing. Lo­cal school sys­tems are ad­vised to fo­cus any re­turn to school build­ings for sum­mer in­struc­tion on stu­dents most deeply af­fected by the pan­demic or those who have strug­gled with dis­tance learn­ing.

Non­pub­lic spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion schools: Non­pub­lic spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion schools may re­open to serve stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties. Th­ese schools may be­gin bring­ing small groups of chil­dren back into their build­ings un­der the same ca­pac­ity pa­ram­e­ters as pub­lic school sys­tems. El­i­gi­ble pro­grams that choose to re­open will need to de­velop a re­cov­ery plan aligned with the new ser­vice de­liv­ery model. This plan will re­quire thought­ful plan­ning and in­ten­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion from all par­ties to en­sure the con­tin­uum of teach­ing and learn­ing as well as the smooth tran­si­tion of stu­dents re­turn­ing to a phys­i­cal school build­ing. Health and safety pro­to­cols and pro­ce­dures in ac­cor­dance with State guide­lines must be ad­dressed prior to re­open­ing.

Child Care: All child care providers may re­open, as long as they fol­low all health depart­ment pro­to­cols listed on the MSDE web­site and ad­here to class size re­stric­tions. Class sizes in child care cen­ters are now ex­panded to a max­i­mum of 15 in­di­vid­u­als per class­room.

School meals: Since the be­gin­ning of the COVID-19 pan­demic, lo­cal school sys­tems and MSDE have con­sis­tently main­tained stu­dent ac­cess to nu­tri­tious meals with more than 13 mil­lion meals served since the start of school clo­sures. The U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture has ex­tended sev­eral waivers through the end of sum­mer to in­clude non-con­gre­gate meals, meal ser­vice time flex­i­bil­ity and al­low­ing par­ents and guardians to pick up meals on be­half of their chil­dren. As we tran­si­tion to a more fa­mil­iar and rou­tine Sum­mer Food Ser­vice Pro­gram, lo­cal sys­tems will de­ter­mine op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing num­ber and types of meals served and lo­ca­tions.

Ath­let­ics: Out­door high school sports may re­sume prac­tice and train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties within the same guide­lines that were pre­vi­ously an­nounced for youth sports pro­grams by the Gov­er­nor in May. Any and all sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties must align with the health and safety pa­ram­e­ters out­lined by MSDE and lo­cal school sys­tems.

Up­dated Mary­land To­gether: Re­cov­ery Plan for Ed­u­ca­tion: The re­vised plan, which has been posted on the MSDE web­site, in­cludes sev­eral re­quire­ments for lo­cal school sys­tems as they be­gin to re­turn stu­dents and staff to school build­ings.

Each school sys­tem must es­tab­lish a lo­cal stake­holder re­cov­ery group that is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of their schools and the com­mu­nity with eq­uity plans in­te­grated through­out their in­di­vid­ual re­cov­ery plans.

Lo­cal school sys­tems also must be fol­low­ing fed­eral pro­vi­sions of the Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act and the In­di­vid­u­als with Dis­abil­i­ties Ed­u­ca­tion Act, as well as all health and safety pro­to­cols de­vel­oped by MSDE and the Mary­land Depart­ment

of Health for daily clean­ing and col­lec­tion of ma­te­ri­als, as well as pro­ce­dures if a stu­dent or staff mem­ber should test pos­i­tive for COVID.

Lo­cal sys­tems and schools must de­ter­mine where their stu­dents are in­struc­tion­ally, iden­tify the gaps in learn­ing, and pre­pare a path for in­struc­tional suc­cess and re­cov­ery. The Mary­land Col­lege and Ca­reer Ready Stan­dards and all state frame­works for each con­tent area must con­tinue to be fol­lowed. A sys­tem must also be in place to track stu­dent at­ten­dance and en­gage­ment in dis­tance learn­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

The plan in­cludes rec­om­men­da­tions for safe trans­porta­tion and vi­tal steps to as­sist school sys­tems as they make de­ci­sions on how to pro­vide trans­porta­tion to stu­dents in this cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment.

 ?? JETCITYIMA­GE ?? Yel­low School Bus in a Dis­trict Lot Wait­ing to De­part for Stu­dents VI
JETCITYIMA­GE Yel­low School Bus in a Dis­trict Lot Wait­ing to De­part for Stu­dents VI

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