BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Public Schools joined several other Maryland jurisdictions and will start Fall 2020 online.

In a release sent out Monday, school officials said after 60 days of focused planning and engagement with students, families, employees and stakeholders, will open the 2020-21 school year online. It will delay the start of hybrid in-person option until later this fall.

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“Using lessons learned from the spring and summer, we sought to balance very immediate health concerns with our mission as educators to support student learning, wholeness, and leadership. In addition to reflecting stakeholder feedback, we were determined that our plan be data-based, both in terms of COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact of distance learning on our most vulnerable students – while avoiding any influence from attempts to politicize this situation. We will continue to create options for learning environments that meet students’ needs by allowing them to safely engage in-person with the staff who care so deeply about their success.” said Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, chief executive officer of City Schools.


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City Schools is proposing to the Board of School Commissioners that the first day of school for students be Tuesday, Sept. 8, following the Labor Day weekend, to allow additional time before the start of the school year for professional learning for staff.

If the Board approves the proposed calendar change, City Schools teachers and 10-month staff will return to work on Wednesday, August 26, to prepare for a successful start to the new school year. The district will use this time, through Friday, Sept. 4, to provide teachers and support staff with professional development in virtual and hybrid learning. To compensate, the majority of previously scheduled professional development days for later in the year would become regular school days.

For more information on the Closing The Distance effort, including access to presentations given at the district’s virtual town halls over the last two weeks, visit

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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.