Howard Co. approves phased start to hybrid in-person learning in March

Howard County, Maryland, school officials approved a phased hybrid model for the incremental return of students to in-person learning this March.

The Howard County Board of Education on Tuesday voted to approve a model that will have public school students return to classrooms over four distinct phases starting March 1, with fully virtual instruction remaining an option for those preferring it.

For parents or guardians who choose to participate in the model, the newly-approved phases are:

  • Week of March 1: Students identified for a program that will provide in-person instruction up to five days per week, including special education or additional learning services.
  • Week of March 15: Students in prekindergarten, kindergarten, first grade and second grade.
  • Week of March 29: Third through sixth grade, ninth grade and 12th grade students; participants in Career and Technical Education at ARL.
  • Week of April 12: Seventh grade, eighth grade, 10th grade and 11th grade students.

With the exception of those invited to return starting March 1, students who opt-in will attend in-person classes on a hybrid schedule spending no more than two days per week in the classroom, with the remainder of the week participating virtually.

“HCPSS will strive to offer students two days per week of in-person learning,” the school district noted in a news release. “However, if the number of requests exceeds capacity, due to social distancing requirements, it may be possible that HCPSS offers only one in-person day per week.”

Additional information on the reentry plan will be sent to families and staff this week — including details on how to select a model as well as whether or not their child will use the school system’s transportation services.

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