The same day Harford County Public Schools’ elementary school students returned to buildings for two-day-a-week hybrid learning, the school system announced its targeted dates to have kids in all grade levels back for in-person learning four days a week.
March 29 is the target date to have elementary schoolers in buildings four days a week, and April 7 is the target date for middle and high school students. Middle and high school students are slated to return once a week starting the week of March 15.
“We feel confident we can meet these target dates if we don’t experience high rates of quarantines, isolations, or outbreaks in our schools. If a change to this schedule is necessary, we will communicate that with you as soon as possible,” the school system stated in the Monday evening announcement.
The Continuity of Learning plan on the school system’s website was updated to reflect the updated CDC guidelines that support additional days for students in the schools as well as continued guidance to monitor the COVID-19 metrics, according to the message.
“Our county has seen a decrease in cases and we will continue to monitor this information as we move forward through the school year,” it states.
The county’s reported positivity rate stood at 4.44% Monday and the weekly average case rate was 11.52 per 100,000, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. Both figures are below the 5% and 15 cases per 100,000 thresholds used in earlier versions of the Continuity of Learning plan for returning children to school, and significantly down from spikes from November to January.
The school system also announced HCPS nurses will be able to administer rapid antigen testing on site when a student begins to show COVID-like symptoms while at school, with parent/guardian permission.
Families and students in all grade levels who wish to remain virtual may continue to do so through the end of the 2020-2021 school year, the message states.
Editor’s note: The previous article incorrectly stated the target date for elementary school students to return four days a week. This article has been updated to correct the error.