At the May meeting, Interim Superintendent Derek Simmons and board members discussed a return to fully in-person instruction five days a week for all students for the 2021-2022 school year.
CCPS has been working toward this goal, as positive case numbers among staff and students remain consistently low and unrelated to in-school spread. In addition, the Maryland State Board of Education recently passed a resolution stating that schools should be open for the required 180 days of in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. With this support and barring any unforeseen circumstances, plans for a full opening for all students in the fall will proceed.
To date, protocols for maintaining a healthy school environment have proven effective, and staff will continue to implement those and make adjustments as needed. All staff who wish to receive the vaccine have done so, and vaccination opportunities will continue to be provided for new staff. Students, staff, and families are encouraged to remain vigilant with health and safety protocols in order to keep classrooms, schools, and playing fields open.
Dr. Simmons stated, “None of us have a crystal ball to know where we’ll be in August but if health indicators remain the same or better, we are planning and preparing for 5,000 happy, smiling faces and 1000 happy, smiling employees; five days a week, seven and a quarter hours a day, coming in on big yellow buses.” He added that it is unknown whether masks will be mandated as CCPS would follow whatever guidelines are in place in August.
“This community as a whole, we’re ready,” Board Member Donna DiGiacomo said. “We’re a lot further along than other counties. We fully support this.” President James Newcomb added, “The expectation is that we will be back to school as normal.”
Dr. Simmons also stated that students who are currently virtual learners are welcome back to in-person learning at any point throughout the remainder of this school year. Parents wishing to make that change may contact the school.
In addition, CCPS is working with the Eastern Shore of Maryland Educational Consortium (ESMEC) on a virtual learning option for the next school year. Currently, a limited number of criteria-based 6-12 grade students is possible, with an option for elementary students also being considered. Parents/guardians interested in more information should email [email protected].