CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne's County Public Schools will not begin hybrid classes this month as planned. On Nov. 11, during a work session, the Board of Education voted to postpone the reopening of schools to the hybrid model.
Based on the current health metrics and trends for Queen Anne’s County, upcoming holidays and community exposure, the board felt it was best to continue with the January 2021 hybrid reopening plans. The vote was 3 to 2.
According to a statement released from the central office, "QACPS will continue small group instruction at each school and prioritize the safety of our students. Safety recommendations and metrics can and will change, schedules may change to ensure the safety of our small group students and staff."
In favor or reopening schools as planned, board Vice-President Dick Smith made a motion for school to reopen on Nov. 16. The motion was seconded by member Capt. Beverly Kelley. That motion did not carry.
Among the many considerations the board discussed was concern over dropping grade point averages, opportunities for students to improve grades, small group instruction, and phasing more teachers back into the school building. Acting Superintendent Janet Pauls said some schools had the majority of teachers conducting classes online from their respective schools and other schools were relatively empty.
Board member Mark Anderson also expressed concern over a non-school sponsored event where 60-70 students along with a number of parent chaperones had gathered together over the weekend.
Medical Director Dr. Joseph Ciatola was consulted and he is concerned that COVID numbers will continue to rise, said Pauls.
"We made a decision tonight that is popular with some and others we haven't made any friends - I'm sorry for that, said board President Tammy Harper, we are in unprecedented times. The safety and security of our students and staff is of utmost concern right next to providing the best education we can."
Other board action items included Superintendent Dr. Andrea Kane's official notification to the board she will not be seeking a second term with QACPS. Working with the Maryland Association Board of Educators (MABE), the search for a superintendent will begin in December.