Educators, parents and students in Maryland are eagerly awaiting the news of what the next school year will look like. Gov. Larry Hogan announced on Wednesday schools would be closed for the remainder of the year and a new plan is developing for what it will look like when it's back in session.
The new plan, known as Maryland Together Recovery Plan for Education, suggests schooling will not necessarily operate the way it used to.
The recovery plan would have elementary students returning first, with social distancing in smaller classes. Middle school and high school students might attend classes on alternate days. Distance learning is planned to continue for secondary students on the days they’re home.
"We just can’t have students out of school for six months and think that’s OK,” said Montgomery County School Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith.
Local educators are preparing for the day it’s safe to reopen classrooms.
"We're going to offer more afterschool and Saturday classes than we’ve ever offered before to more students. More options and opportunities will be a critical part of recovery," Smith said.
The school calendar could change, officials say. Starting school early is a possibility, in addition to a reduced summer vacation. It might even be necessary to extend school days and offer additional help to students with Saturday, night and summer school classes.
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Nothing has been set in stone yet, but these are some of the possibilities state leaders are considering.
Alisia Kleinmann is a parent with two students in elementary school and said she is willing to do whatever needs to be done for her children to be back in school.
“I am very much looking forward to schools reopening," said Kleinmann. "I’m 100% comfortable with longer school days and a shorter summer if that’s what we need to do."