ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Public Schools will employ virtual learning for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year.

“We all want students to be back in our buildings, but there are very real concerns about returning to those settings in September for us and for a significant portion of our families and our employees,” Superintendent George Arlotto said. “What carries the most weight for me, however, is the data and the science. I have been communicating with Dr. Kalyanaraman regularly and his advice to me is that, given the current state of the pandemic and the fact that Maryland remains in Stage 2 of its Road to Recovery, the best course of action is to begin the year virtually.”

AACPS is working to create a “more robust eTeaching model than existed in the spring,” which will contain “more real-time instruction” from teachers to students.

They are also continuing to acquire computer devices so every student can have a Chromebook and all teachers have laptops to instruct and virtually meet with students.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

The school system had 45,000 Chromebooks on hand in March, has received and/or ordered 45,000 more, and will purchase more devices to have on hand in schools when they reopen as additional funding becomes available or is identified, the system said in a release Monday.

The virtual learning plan will be reviewed by Superintendent George Arlotto with the Board of Education on July 22.  The meeting will start at 7 p.m. and be broadcasted live on AACPS-TV, which can be found on Channel 96 on Comcast and Broadstripe, and Channel 36 on Verizon. High definition broadcasts can be seen on Channel 996 on Comcast, Channel 496 on Broadstripe, and Channel 1961 on Verizon. It will also be broadcast live on AACPS’ YouTube channel.

Public input on the plan will be accepted through July 31. Comments can be submitted to reopening2020@aacps.org, or delivered by mail or in person to the Carol S. Parham Building at 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401.

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.

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