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What we know about Baltimore County public school plans for the next school year

Baltimore County public school system this week announced plans to offer students the option between attending class online full-time or in-person five days per week beginning this fall.

The county school system has remained closed for most of the current school year, but began gradually bringing some students back to classrooms in March. Since a number of families have chosen to continue with online schooling, system leaders are working on alternative learning models for students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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What are students’ options for the fall?

Baltimore County Public Schools will offer in-person instruction five days a week to students at all grade levels next fall. For families who have expressed a desire for their children to learn remotely, the school system will continue to offer that option for the 2021-22 school year.

The online learning option will include a blend of live instruction and course work that students can complete independently, similar to what students experienced in fall of 2020.

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What will those online classes look like?

School administrators are still working to develop the full plan, but told school board members Tuesday that students who enroll in the online learning program will still be connected with their home school.

Online students would not be asked to learn alongside students attending classes in-person, such as with the hybrid learning model used during the spring semester. Educators would be assigned exclusively to either online or in-person classrooms.

How do I sign up my student for online classes?

Families who are interested in online instruction for the fall semester are being asked to submit a form to school officials by May 7 at 5 p.m. School leaders say they will use the information to gauge interest levels and plan for the fall.

The school system will provide a separate process for enrolling students in the online learning program, along with more information, at a later date. Those who are not interested in the online program do not need to take any action.

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Can I change my mind about online schooling for my student?

Administrators are looking for a one-year commitment from families who wish to enroll their child in the online program. However, a student’s needs and individual circumstances will be taken into account if he or she wishes to return to the school building before the end of the 2021-22 school year.

When will we learn more?

While school leaders are conducting preliminary head counts to help with planning, administrators have cautioned that the program is still in development.

Administrators pledged to present more details on the fall reopening plan to school board members May 18.

And school officials said plans for in-person and online education could change if there is a resurgence in coronavirus cases or another public health reason.

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