They say local COVID-19 cases keep going up.
Frederick, Md (KM) The number of coronavirus cases in Frederick County keep going up, and that’s why the School System decided to suspend small group instruction and winter sports practices until further notice. Daryl Boffman, the Executive Director of Public Affairs for the School System, says he understands it’s a disappointment for many teachers, students and their parents. :”I’m sure there’s a level of disappointment. However, out of care and concern for our students and staff, Dr. Alban decided that the suspension was necessary as the risk was too great.”
Dr. Alban is Dr. Theresa Alban, Frederick County’s Superintendent of Schools.
Most instruction so far this school year has been done remotely. Boffman says while most students have adapted, there are resources for those students who are having difficulty with virtual learning. “On our website, we have various resources for families. But they can always reach out to their principals, to their teachers to request additional support,” he says.
This decision to suspend small group instruction could have an impact on hybrid learning, which allows students to come to school two days a week for in-person instruction, and do remote learning the rest of the week. Hybrid learning was scheduled to start on January 28th. “We still have time as we continue to monitor the health metrics and have conversations with the Health Department,” he says. “But as it stands right now, we’re going to be talking about whether or not we need to adjust that schedule based on what we’re seeing.”
He says any updates regarding hybrid learning will be announced later this week.
Boffman says he understands the frustrations of teachers, students and their parents feel about not being in the classrooms. “We want the kids back in the classroom as well. And we want our staff back in our buildings,” he says. “But it’s more important that we provide a safe environment for our students and staff.”
Under these changes, teachers can come into their classrooms and do remote instruction, and students who need access to the internet can come into the building.
Boffman says it may be a while before schools can open fully to all students. “Metrics are going in the wrong direction. So I can’t see in the very near future going back to any traditional model,” he says.
By Kevin McManus