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Prince George’s County Public Schools plan to start in-person hybrid learning in April

Chief Executive Officer Monica Goldson announced Wednesday plans to reopen Prince George’s County Public Schools for in-person hybrid learning starting in April.

Goldson will discuss reopening plans with families and community members in more detail during a Telephone Town Hall on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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Families will have the opportunity to continue distance learning through the end of the school year. The school system will distribute a survey through schools to all families so they can select to either continue virtual learning for the remainder of the school year or begin hybrid instruction two days a week starting in April until the end of the school year, a press release said.

Families will have until Sunday, Feb. 28, to complete the survey.

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“While we have made substantial investments to implement a virtual learning experience for all of our students, we know that nothing can truly replace the experience of interacting with their educators and classmates in a classroom. At the same time, our highest priority from the very beginning of this pandemic and to this day continues to be the safety of our students and staff,” Goldson said in a statement. “In April, we will implement a hybrid learning schedule, where students can split their time between in-person and remote learning, and that families may opt into. We believe this plan prioritizes health, safety, equity and excellence.”

The hybrid learning model will include staggered scheduling with students divided into two groups for in-person instruction on back-to-back days with appropriate social distancing in classrooms and throughout the school building. The remaining three days will be spent in online learning sessions each week, according to the press release.

In March, the school system will welcome all educators back into classrooms ahead of students and return central office staff to their assigned work locations. On April 8, Phase 1 instruction will begin with a two-day hybrid learning schedule for all special education students in kindergarten through 12th grade and for students in prekindergarten through sixth grade and 12th grade. On April 15, Phase 2 instruction will begin for all remaining seventh- through 11th-graders, the press release said.

The school system’s current cleaning protocols require the PGCPS Environmental Team to respond with a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of any facilities or areas within 24 hours of a known case of COVID-19.

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Air filters in all schools and office buildings were upgraded to the CDC recommendations.

Vaccination clinics will continue in collaboration with the Prince George’s County Health Department and Kaiser Permanente. The Maryland COVID Testing Program will allow PGCPS to offer rapid and diagnostic testing for both symptomatic and asymptomatic students and staff. Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be available to all staff and students when in-person learning resumes.

“As a school system, we have shown restraint in not rushing to reopen,” Goldson said in a statement. “and we will continue to adhere to metrics for safe school reopening based on COVID-19 indicators.”

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