TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The Baltimore County Public School System’s recently-announced plan to bring students back into classrooms this spring has drawn mixed reviews from parents and teachers.

The earliest a group of students would return to in-person learning is March 1. Under the plan, students would be broken into cohorts based on their addresses, with each cohort having two days in the classroom and three days of online learning. Cohort A would have in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, while Cohort B would have in-person classes on Thursdays and Fridays.

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The youngest students would be the first to return to the classroom under the plan.

“Research is telling us that we can open schools as safely as possible and with proper mitigation strategies,” schools spokesperson Charles Herndon said. “We believe this is the right time to do it and we are looking forward to opening up and looking forward to seeing a lot of smiling faces on March 1.”


Parents are split on the decision.

“She is a great student and online, she does not pay attention,” one parent said.

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“My kids aren’t going back. This virus is mutating, more and more people are getting sick,” another said.

The Teachers Association of Baltimore County said its inbox has been flooded with both praise and concern.

“I am literally in tears and I am frustrated and scared to go back to work with students without a vaccine,” one teacher wrote.

“I have not been able to get a vaccine appointment. I have registered for everything I could find and still have not been given a link,” another said.

The group’s president, Cindy Sexton, said 80% of members who responded to a survey want a vaccine and are concerned about getting their own family members sick.

“We think educators should have the option of returning to the buildings or remaining virtual, just as the students do,” she said.

The phased-in approach will take around five weeks to fully implement, and by April 6 all students will have the option for some form of in-person learning. Those who want to remain solely online will be able to do so.

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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.

Ava-joye Burnett