Maryland shuts down public schools four more weeks to combat virus

State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon announces during a press conference Wednesday, March 25, Maryland public schools will remain closed for four additional weeks through April 24 to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

ANNAPOLIS — Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent, directed that all Maryland school districts remain closed for an additional four weeks, through Friday, April 24, 2020.

“While the state did not officially announce a continued closure until today, staff have been working behind the scenes to prepare for students to learn from home,” said Superintendent Patti Saelens.

Families were surveyed about what devices and internet access they have available at home. Survey results informed plans to make devices and internet access points available to families, along with non-digital resources such as printed assignments and books.

“Families will receive information about the distribution of resources and instructions for learning from home as soon as plans are finalized, likely throughout the week of March 30th,” Saelens said, “We may not be able to answer all questions immediately, but together we will work through as many of the challenges as possible.”

CCPS will ensure students continue to have access to meals throughout the school closure. Information about meal pick up is available on the CCPS website.

“We know this is a stressful and challenging time for students and families,” Saelens said. “But Caroline County is known for working together to take care of our students. As this situation evolves, families can be assured that we are working to provide the best possible solutions under these circumstances. Our staff is second to none in their devotion to students, and that commitment is only strengthened by hard times. We will get through this together.”

Baltimore County elementary school teacher and Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) President Cheryl Bost released the following statement:

“This is a tough decision, but the right call for the safety of our students, educators, and state. The months ahead will be challenging, and we will work to make the best of them. It’s heartbreaking to know that so many children will miss out on field trips, art projects, athletics, performances, and the everyday enjoyment of being with friends and learning new things together. We know that virtual learning is less beneficial for students than in-person learning, and we need to do all we can to address equity issues for students without access to technology and for students entitled to special education services. We must make sure that food insecure children receive meals and that all school employees, including hourly employees, continue to receive their pay so that they can support their families. Educators have stepped up since the first day schools were closed and will continue to do all we can to support our students as we work together to overcome this crisis.”

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