State Superintendent Continues to Encourage In-Person Instruction

State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon continued to encourage local school systems to return to in-person instruction during the latest State Board of Education meeting.

In the meeting, Salmon stated that “we must all unite in our efforts to maintain equitable learning opportunities and safely return students to their schools. Rather than focusing on obstacles that impede that goal, we must focus on solutions that will overcome them.  The necessary health guidance is available to local school systems, and MSDE stands ready to work together through continued partnership and collaboration.”

During the State Board meeting, officials stressed that virtual learning is not a full replacement for in-person instruction, especially for “low-income, special-Education students, as well as though vulnerable to abuse.” Currently, 19 school systems have opened their buildings for small group instruction or the start of hybrid learning.

From the press release:

“It has been said that true leaders act during chaotic times and it is our responsibility as educators to take action now that will return students to in-person instruction. The stakes could not be higher,” said State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. “Remote learning cannot replace students’ experiences with their teachers, administrators, and support staff. One might make the argument that any risk is too great and that schools must be completely safe before local school systems move towards any in-person instruction. But this approach disregards the enormous costs to children from keeping school buildings closed.”

Health metrics provided by the Maryland Department of Health were released in joint guidance with MSDE in late August. The Maryland State Board of Education is currently working with MSDE to create an “initial draft Statewide Recovery Plan Dashboard/Scorecard” in order to create a “visual, easy-to-understand presentation of the recovery status and serve as a focal point for mobilizing support and resources to address areas of concern.”

Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more information.