ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year, officials announced at a press conference Wednesday.

State Superintend Dr. Karen Salmon – with the Maryland dDepartment of Education – said after extensive discussion, the appropriate decision is to close schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

Coronavirus Closings: Maryland Schools Will Remain Closed Through Academic Year

The State Department of Education is releasing a comprehensive plan for long term recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. It’s called the Maryland Together Recovery Plan.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

It offers suggestions to improve online learning and identifies methods for recovering any lost instruction time.

Dr. salmon said she doesn’t believe that schools will be included in Gov. Larry Hogan’s phase 1 recovery plan, but they will be included later down the line.

For example, schools could start by bringing students back in small groups with social distancing; or students could return on an alternating A and B-day schedule; or alternating weeks between in-person learning and at home distance learning.

A full return to school would only be possible in phase 3 – in accordance with public health guidance.

Many parents said they weren’t surprised by the decision.

“Just because of the germs and kids getting sick all the time, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable having her go back yet,” Jessica Goldber, a parent, said.

“When they said we were going to be closed for two weeks, I knew we weren’t going back to school, for whatever reason,” Shantell McKethan said.

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.

Rachel Menitoff

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