Back to school in Calvert, Anne Arundel counties

Students in Calvert and Anne Arundel Counties are the latest Marylanders tossing their backpacks on and heading to their first day of classes on Tuesday.

The first day of school can bring anticipation and anxiety to students, parents and school staff. Here’s what you need to know.

Anne Arundel County

Some went back to classes in Anne Arundel County on Monday while other students return Tuesday as part of the system’s opening plan. Now, summer is over for the county’s 84,000 students.

Hopefully, teens will get a bit more sleep as start times shift this year. Elementary schools begin between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.; middle schools between 8:30 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.; and high schools at 8:30 a.m.

The new “healthier school hours” are meant to help students mental and physical health.

It’s not just the start of something new for students — Superintendent Mark Bedell started his first year leading the school system on Monday. He previously worked as the superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools in Missouri.

Also new this year, school buses are equipped with cameras that can detect cars that illegally passed school buses and snap photos of their license plates. Drivers caught by the footage could face a $250 fine.

The county’s employing nearly 6,000 teachers this year as it grapples with the effects of a nationwide shortage of teachers, bus drivers and other staff.

The county 216 vacant classroom positions, according to the Capital Gazette.

Early Tuesday morning, some parents received notifications about interruptions to bus routes. A tweet from the school system said its working to onboard more drivers.

Calvert County

The county is welcoming more than 15,500 students back to school on Tuesday.

Superintendent Andraé Townsel encouraged students ahead of the start of classes with a tweeted video.

Amid the teacher shortage, the county has around 992 teachers, providing a student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Masks are optional, except in cases of COVID-19 exposure or illness and visitors are allowed in schools.

WTOP’s Scott Gelman contributed to this report.

Jessica Kronzer

Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

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