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Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

25,000+ students head back to Carroll County classrooms Tuesday

The familiar yellow school buses will be rolling through Carroll County Tuesday morning, as students, teachers and staff start the first day of the 2022-2023 school year.

The school system’s 22 elementary, eight middle and seven high schools, as well as the Carroll County Career and Technology Center, Carroll Springs School and several alternative schools, will be back in session with 25,042 students settling in for a new year.

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Approximately 256 regular route buses will travel more than 5.3 million miles to provide school transportation this year, according to the school system.

New Superintendent Cynthia McCabe will oversee the school system this year.

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“Everything is in place and and we are ready to go,” McCabe said. “I’m very ready for the new year.”

McCabe said she spent the summer with her leadership team planning for the new year.

Protections against COVID-19 exposure will be in place when school starts.

“CCPS will continue to encourage good hygiene (e.g., hand washing), use the air purification machines in instructional spaces that we purchased previously, and maintain increased ventilation in our air handling units in our schools to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Karl T. Streaker, the school district’s director of student services, stated in an email.

“In addition, we plan to send regular communication to families reminding them of symptoms and to keep their children home if they are ill,” he stated. “In the event we learn someone has tested positive for COVID-19, they will be advised to stay home for (five) days from the onset of symptoms and they can return once symptoms have improved, and they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.”

McCabe is looking forward to a normal school year.

“We’re very excited to have a relatively normal school year,” she said. “Our focus will be back to the basics.”

McCabe admits that Carroll’s students have lost some academic progress due to the pandemic, but the school system has taken measures to help students make up the lost learning.

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“We’ve lost some ground with our students, so we want to get back to the basics of teaching and learning,” she said. “We’ve done extended learning (over the summer) for students to make up for the ground lost. We’ve made up some of the ground lost, but we’re still behind from where we were before the pandemic.”

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McCabe said the focus will be on teaching students a lesson and having them understand quickly.

“It’s something we haven’t focused on in a long time,” she said. “Having teachers teach something the first time, and the kids get it the first time. We’re focused on that in the school district.”

Meanwhile, CCPS, like so many school systems in Maryland, has faced a high number of teacher vacancies. In July, the Carroll County Board of Education approved the hiring of nearly 100 new educators. As of the end of last week, only eight teacher positions were still unfilled.

“We’re confident they they will be filled by Tuesday,” McCabe said. “If not, they will be filled with long-term substitutes.”

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