As both a parent and an educator, I’m always excited for school to start again. The achievement of starting another school year amid this unprecedented crisis should not be overlooked.
We dealt with an almost overnight shift to fully virtual learning back in spring of 2020. Then we conquered an entire year of uncertainty and turmoil, the most difficult challenge many students and educators have ever faced. Now as we start the third school year to be affected by this pandemic, I am so grateful to be back in the classroom, so proud of the strength and resilience of our students and, dare I say it, optimistic that this year will just continue to build on the lessons learned from the last.
Here are a few key updates about Maryland and Baltimore County school reopening (guidelines may shift as COVID-19 conditions change):
- The Maryland State Board of Education approved a requirement for universal masking in all schools for this upcoming academic year at a meeting on Thursday, August 26. However, until the measure gains legislative approval, local school districts can still set their own policies. Click here to read more.
- Baltimore County Public Schools announced in July a policy of universal masking for the fall 2021 semester. Masks will be required on school buses and in any indoor school setting. Click here to view the BCPS reopening guide.
- All BCPS staff are required to be vaccinated, or else must submit to weekly testing. Students aged 12 and older are encouraged to get vaccinated, but at this time there is no mandate for proof of vaccination among students. BCPS encourages students and families to take advantage of free Baltimore County Health Department vaccination clinics. Click here for a schedule of these clinics.
- Masks will be required for participants and spectators at indoor sporting events. They will not be required during outdoor events. Click here to read more about sporting event guidelines from BCPS.
- All BCPS students, whether virtual or in-person, will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch for the duration of the school year. Click here to learn more, and click here for meal service information for virtual learners.
I will continue to share updates here, but don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have. To everyone starting school, stay safe, good luck and above all have fun!