After cautioning parents that the latest coronavirus surge could close schools again, Baltimore County Schools administrators say they will continue with their plans to have students and teachers return in-person to classrooms Monday.
In a message posted online, Superintendent Darryl Williams wrote that he consulted with health experts and county government officials before reaching his decision.
“We know that for most students, in-person learning is the best option to meet their academic and social-emotional needs. We also understand the pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant in our efforts to keep our communities safe,” Williams wrote.
His announcement follows a statement last week from the state Department of Education that it expects school districts to remain open for learning in person.
Before the winter break, Williams had asked student and teachers to bring home their devices and chargers in case the district was forced to close school buildings. Recent weeks have brought sharp increases in coronavirus cases across Maryland. Thursday pushed the number of cases in Maryland past 700,000 since the pandemic began, according to state health officials. Some 11,522 people have died.
Baltimore County Schools postponed all sports and extra-curricular activities until Jan. 10. Williams reminded students and teachers to stay home if they feel sick.
He wrote that he will continue to meet weekly with county health officials to assess the situation.