ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — A public school system in Maryland has announced all classes for students will be held online until January 2021 due to coronavirus safety concerns.
The Howard County Public Schools board approved the measure in a 6-1 vote Thursday, news outlets reported. The vote came after school officials conducted a survey among parents, students and staff on how to reopen the schools.
The fully virtual option was the least popular option among the respondents, but school officials say it’s the safest one for students and staff.
“Even with their extraordinary efforts, it is not guaranteed that COVID-19 won’t infiltrate our schools and offices and be spread between students and staff,” Howard County Public Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano told The Baltimore Sun.
School officials will work on developing hybrid or in-person models that could be used for the second half of the academic year. But as right now, Martirano says officials will need to focus on reopening the school in September.
“We don’t know what October, November or next February will look like,” he said. “Attempting to make those decisions now for months in advance is premature.”
The public school system must send its detailed reopening plans to state officials by August.