St. Mary’s County Public Schools OKs plan to bring some students back for in-person learning

Some students in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, will return to in-person instruction in less than two weeks.

St. Mary’s County Public Schools approved the Sept. 21 return of four groups of students: Head Start, pre-K, SAIL and COMPASS.

SAIL and COMPASS are two county special education programs.

Superintendent James Scott Smith said the goal is to help students who need it the most.

“We are looking at our littlest learners first, because we recognize that an online educational experience is probably going to leave the ones who we need most-involved behind,” Smith said.

If things go well, other students could start coming back for in-person learning two days a week beginning Oct. 5.

Some sports and extracurricular activities are slated to come back mid-September, according to a news release.

“The first semester athletic and extracurricular engagement plan will include some combination of virtual engagement, in-person weight training and conditioning, skill development, team practices, intra-school scrimmages, and possibly in-county inter-school scrimmages,” the school system said.

COVID-19 guidelines include a daily contact tracing form, social distancing and face coverings.

WTOP’s Kyle Cooper contributed to this report.

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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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