Schools in Charles County, Maryland, are pressing pause on bringing some students back to the classroom after a recent rise in reported COVID-19 cases throughout the state and nationwide.
“We will continue to monitor the data and reassess; however, we will not consider a move to Phase 2 until after the first of the year because of the upcoming holiday season,” Charles County Public Schools Superintendent Kimberly Hill said in a letter to parents.
The school board had voted last month to allow for in-person learning starting Nov. 9., and the school system had identified some 7,200 students eligible to return to the classroom for the second phase of its reopening plan.
Instead, virtual learning will continue for all students until further notice.
Teachers will also be allowed to return to teleworking; however, school buildings will be open for staff if they choose to work from their classrooms.
The school system said it will reopen student learning cafes on Monday, and it hopes to reopen internet cafes at Henry E. Lackey High School and Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary on Tuesday.
Athletic competition is also on hold until schools move to Phase Two.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have promised to make decisions based on the health and safety of students and staff. At this time, we believe postponing Phase 2 is in the best interest of our students and staff,” Hill said.
Charles County joins Anne Arundel County, which also voted to delay the next step of its reopening plan.
D.C. Public Schools announced earlier this week that it will not reopen elementary school classrooms for most students next week as planned, citing the need to readjust staffing plans after strong pushback from teachers.
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