Maryland schools will be closed for at least an additional three weeks, through May 15, officials announced Friday.
State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon said authorities need to evaluate the coronavirus crisis week by week, month by month.
"I feel that this is one of those decisions that we need to make incrementally, to see where we are," she said at a news conference with Gov. Larry Hogan. "I certainly don’t want to dash the hopes of many children and parents that there might be some other ways to do public school going forward."
Salmon said officials will evaluate whether school buildings should remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
“We will continue to examine every option,” she said.
Salmon said she spoke with local superintendents this week about the possibility of expanding digital learning into the summer in order to recover “lost instructional time.”
Maryland initially closed schools from March 16 to March 27, then extended the closure through April 24 to protect students and staff from the virus, which has infected more than 11,000 people in the state and killed 425.
State education officials want high school seniors and their families to be recognized but traditional graduation ceremonies look unlikely, Salmon said.
“I don’t think we’re going to be seeing the types of ceremonies that we’ve seen in the past,” she said.
At least 27 states have ordered or recommended the closure of schools through the remainder of the academic year, according to Education Week.
In Maryland, Hogan thanked families and educators for helping students cope with a “confusing and frightening time."
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.