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Town hall on recovery plan for Harford schools postponed until Thursday

A town hall meeting on Harford County Public Schools’ recovery plan for next year, which had been scheduled for tonight, has been postponed to Thursday as the draft plan has been revised, the school system announced today.

The meeting, which can be viewed online via Microsoft Teams, will run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. HCPS Superintendent Sean Bulson will give a brief presentation on the plan, and then participants will be able to ask questions.

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The updated plan is scheduled to be released at 10 a.m. Thursday, giving people the opportunity to review it before the town hall meeting that evening, according to a news release from the school system.

Jillian Lader, a spokesperson for HCPS, said no additional information about delaying the meeting would be provided Wednesday.

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The Harford school system is developing a plan with several options for how schools will operate during the 2020-21 school year, depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Harford County and Maryland when the new year begins Sept. 8. More information is available at the “HCPStogether” web page.

The original planned included three options, taking cues from the three phases of recovery for the state in Gov. Larry Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery. The options include all-virtual learning, which was the operating method for the spring; schools being open with the option of taking classes virtually; or a hybrid of virtual and in-person classes, with students in school part of the week and learning virtually the rest of the week.

The state and county have been in Stage 2 of recovery since mid-June, meaning schools would employ a hybrid operating method if nothing changes.

Monica Goldson said her administration will reevaluate conditions in December. If safe to do so, students will have the option of returning part-time in February with a staggered schedule where students learn in-person twice a week and virtually the other three days.

Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Darryl L. Williams said Tuesday he is leaning toward remote learning with a phased-in return as the school board considers how to reopen schools for the 2020-21 academic year.

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