ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — State Superintendent of Maryland Schools Karen Salmon announced Wednesday that some small summer school instruction can open in buildings with strict limits.

Salmon said Maryland school systems will now be able to bring small groups of students and staff in for school programming with 10 to 15 individuals maximum at a time.

“The education community has been able to move alongside the rest of the state,” Salmon said. “School systems will now be able to bring small groups of students and staff into school buildings for summer school programming.”

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

Salmon said students with the most intense learning needs are the ones that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, and without an “intense focus” on these students, they would be among the last to recover.

“Therefore, I’ve been strongly and will strongly encourage local school systems to focus any return to school buildings for summer instruction on those that have been most deeply impacted by the pandemic, or those that have struggled with distance learning.”

Salmon added that this is a move that will require collaboration and planning to be effective.

“This plan will require thoughtful planning and intentional collaboration with all parties to ensure the continuum of teaching and learning, and the smooth transition to students.”

WJZ spoke to parents about the decision. Some said they are on board with it.

“I think it’s an okay idea. I think if they take precautions as far as health, they have their distancing and they have smaller classes, then I don’t see anything wrong with it,” Rochelle Godwin, a parent, said.

Childcare centers can also open with a maximum of 15 individuals per-classroom. But some said it’s still not enough.

“We’re glad that we’re moving towards more students in a classroom, however it still poses a problem with being able to maintain our business to stay open,” Imani Rose, Executive Director of Joshua’s Play Early Learning Center, said.

Rose said since the shutdown, they’ve lost more than half of their businesses, and it’s putting a strain on resources.

“That’s just not enough to cover the finances that come with it, along with the cleaning we have to do, buying the supplies,” Rose said.

Some parents said it’s time to move forward on the road to recovery.

“I feel like we should definitely open up and allow us to go on with our lives,” Godwin said.

Gov. Larry Hogan said if possible, schools can hold outdoor graduation ceremonies, as long as they’re following social distancing guidelines.

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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