Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland has released specifics on COVID-19 metrics that could possibly trigger the transition toward in-person learning to begin sometime this spring.
“While some aspects will undoubtedly change over time, we will do our best to deliver timely updates,” schools CEO Monica Goldson said in a letter to the school community.
COVID-19 vaccinations of educators and support staff are tentatively scheduled to begin Feb. 1 under a partnership with Kaiser Permanente, and Goldson said that makes her “more optimistic” about the possibility of reopening school doors.
COVID-19 rates in the county will be among many factors being considered.
As it stands now, the thresholds for in-person learning to be considered is based on these 14-day averages:
- New rate of daily cases between 46-91
- Percent of positive cases between 5%-8%
- Average daily case rate between 5-10 per 100,000 residents.
Meeting those goals would require big changes. On Tuesday, based on 14-day averages, there were 468 new COVID-19 cases, a positivity rate of 10.5% and a daily case rate of 51.4 per 100,000 residents.
Because the county’s COVID-19 situation is so fluid and case rates so high, a spokeswoman told WTOP no specific date for making changes “in spring” has been identified.
As for what the transition to a hybrid teaching model or in-person learning would look like? Goldson expects it would begin with small groups of specific students, such as those in special education, those learning English or in specifically targeted grades.
Whatever might be decided, families would have the option of finishing the school year under the hybrid option or with distance learning.
School leaders expect to reassess reopening plans in mid-February.
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