WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) — Carroll County Public Schools will resume hybrid learning on Thursday.

During a school board meeting on Jan. 4, several parents shared their frustrations about schools remaining closed into the second half of the school year.

The school board voted to resume hybrid learning on Thursday, Jan. 7. Families, though, will be given options.

“We’re keeping our kids virtual just for safety purposes because we can,” parent Sarah Kutzler said.

“My stepdaughter is happy to be going back to class,” parent Allan Beacham said.

The new schedule will allow for A/B day cohorts and in-person learning two days a week. There will also continue to be virtual cohorts, very similar to the system implemented in the fall.

“My recommendation was that we consider waiting a few more weeks until the metrics looked a little bit different,” Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Steven Lockard said.

Lockard said he had some concerns about COVID-19 cases after the holidays but stands behind the board’s decision to move forward.

“What I’m trying to do is everything that I can do, all hands on deck here to provide that opportunity for our students,” he said.

As of Jan. 3, the positivity rate in Carroll County is at 8.48% below the state’s current 9.19%.

The Carroll County Board of Education voted to return to all virtual learning back on Nov. 19 after there was a spike in COVID-19 case numbers.

In December, a letter was sent home to parents asking if they would like their students to return to the classroom or remain home for virtual learning.

“Until we have a vaccine pushed out more readily in the community, I would like them to stay at home,” Kutzler said.

“She misses her friends, she’s missed actual instruction in-person,” Beacham said.

You can watch the school board meeting here:

Rachel Menitoff