BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Schools across Maryland remain closed, but the education continues online.

Baltimore City and County Schools started their online courses on Monday. This as schools in Pennsylvania and Virginia announced closures for the rest of the academic year.

The State Superintendent of Schools, Karen Salmon, said they’re ramping up online and distance learning capabilities.

“We want our kids to be engaged and we want our parents to know we’re doing our very best to respond to learning needs and we don’t want those huge learning losses,” Salmon said.

No decision has been made yet about whether to re-open schools in Maryland, which currently remain closed until April 24.

In Baltimore City, students have been connecting with teachers and classmates online, asking questions and finding new ways to further their education.

Kenyarda Ross-Dyer said its something her 5-year-old now looks forward to every day.

“She just kept thanking me saying thank you mommy. You know she misses her teachers, she misses her friends,” Ross-Dyer said.

While officials said there’s at least 5,000 students who have the proper technology and access to high-speed internet, there are still about 25,000 that don’t.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Parents of Baltimore City Schools students are calling on businesses to donate gently used devices so students can continue their education during the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, parents of Baltimore City Schools students and the Teachers Democracy Projects pushed for donations of gently used electronic devices like smartphones, tables or laptops to give to students to continue learning.

“If you were to go online and order a laptop, it could take up to eight weeks to come in,” Rebecca Venawine, of Teachers Democracy Project, said.

Parents said they’re worry if they don’t get the technology, their kids might fall behind.

“This pandemic, of course, was not planned. But that should not be a crutch for our kids not to succeed and continue to fall behind,” Kimberly Graham, a parent, said.

If you’re interested in donating devices, you can do so at the Impact Hub in downtown Baltimore on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Kelsey Kushner

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