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Aberdeen Middle School temporarily going virtual due to staffing shortage

Aberdeen Middle School will switch to virtual learning for two weeks starting Thursday due to a staffing shortage. School will be dismissed three hours early on Wednesday so teachers and staff can prepare for virtual instruction.

The announcement was made in a letter sent home to parents Tuesday and posted on the school’s website.

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“We do not make the decision to transition to virtual instruction lightly,” Principal Regina Jones said in the letter, adding that the move “is necessary at this time to ensure valuable instruction continues to take place.”

Jones said the school has used substitute teachers and staff from other schools in the district to compensate for several staff members who are out. She did not specify if the absenteeism is due to COVID-19.

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Harford County Education Association President Chrystie Crawford-Smick said many staff members are out for COVID-related reasons but she doesn’t have exact numbers. She also said this is the first school she’s aware of that’s had to move to virtual learning this academic year.

“I have asked if there are other schools that are closed and I have not been provided that information,” Crawford-Smick said.

Students were told to bring home their assigned school laptops, chargers, and hot spots, for those who were assigned one, when they leave school Wednesday. Parents were also given the option of signing up for meal kits from the Food and Nutrition department.

Virtual learning will continue through Jan.14, a previously scheduled early dismissal day. Students are scheduled to return for in-person instruction on Jan. 18.

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Jones said the building will remain open for limited services and teachers may work from their classroom, or meet with parents or students, as needed.

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