All classes will be conducted on line.
Frederick, Md (KM) There’s been a lot of discussion across the country on whether it’s safe for teachers to do on line instruction from their classrooms, or from their homes. In Frederick County, teachers have a choice, according to Board of Education President Brad Young. “We may have many teachers in the classroom. What we have said is that we are not going to force the teachers to go in,”: he says. “I know we have many who want to go in because they have resources that are in there, or they just feel more comfortable teaching in the classroom. I do know there are many teachers that are competent to teach from home.”
The school year begins on Monday, August 31st, but instruction won’t take place in the classroom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.. The School Board has decided to hold virtual classes during the fall semester and decide later on the spring semester.
Young says it won’t be the same as the “continuity of learning” which took place after schools were closed in March after the coronavirus was detected in Maryland. “The amount of time and engagement by teachers and students will be much more extensive. In the spring, it was a matter of finishing it out. A lot of professional development was done with teachers to train them on distance learning so that this fall it will be a much different program. In the spring, we were at pass-fail situation. We’re back to regular grading,” he said.
Young was a guest recently on WFMD’s “Morning News Express.” He was asked what would it take to get the Board of Education to reopen school buildings for in-person instruction. “Obviously, there are many things that will play into this decision which could be bringing out a vaccine, or therapeutic treatment drugs that would be available,” he said. “So that we can feel safe that if we send 600, 700, to over 1,000 kids back into a building we won’t have a super=-spreading situation.”
But what protocols are in place if there’s a COVID-19 outbreak at one of the schools, Young was asked. “We have not gotten great guidance from our state as far as how to handle that and what to do when a case has been identified,” he responded. “How do you do contact tracing when a kid’s in a school and exposed to everyone else in that school.”
By Kevin McManus