Every child deserves a world-class education no matter their zip code. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic educators, parents and students quickly adapted to an unprecedented remote learning environment. Teachers put in long hours to ensure students don't fall further behind and schools have offered support to families that stretch well beyond the classroom. Early this year, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan providing $130 billion for K-12 education, needed to support the safe return to in-classroom instruction. With another school year beginning under these difficult circumstances, the health and safety of students and educators is must be our top priority. By taking appropriate precautions and following public health guidance we can create a safe learning environment for everyone and ensure a successful school year.
Below please find information on important back to school information in our communities:
CDC Guidelines for Students and Families
COVID-19 outbreaks can happen in schools and early care and education programs, but when multiple prevention strategies are used, most children can safely continue to attend these programs in person. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent COVID-19. When teachers, staff, and students 12 years and older are fully vaccinated, COVID-19 outbreaks in schools or child care programs are less likely to occur. Everyone 12 years and older is now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Your child’s school or ECE program may provide information about how to get vaccinated to families. They may also offer flexible options for excused absences to allow students time to get vaccinated and stay home if they have side effects after vaccinations.
Vaccine appointments are readily available throughout Maryland. For more information on vaccinations, please visit: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/pages/vaccine
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Mask use is recommended for people who are not fully vaccinated, including children and staff. Children under 2 years of age should not wear a mask. Schools and early care and education programs can make exceptions for children who cannot wear a mask or cannot safely wear a mask. Masks are required on all public transportation, including school buses. Regardless of the mask policy at school, passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses operated by public or private school systems. Learn more about face masks on public transportation.
If your child is sick or has symptoms of COVID-19, they should stay home. Call your child’s healthcare provider for testing and care. Staying home when sick with COVID-19 keeps COVID-19 infections out of schools and early care and education programs and prevents spread to others. Know when your child should quarantine or isolate.
Please visit the CDC's website for more information.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
This will be the first time in almost 18 months that nearly all AACPS students and educators will be back together again for in-person instruction. The return to in-person learning considers the health and safety of students and staff first. Here are some key factors about the in-person learning environment:
- Ventilation in buildings include increased infusion of outside air, and regularly verified system performance of buildings in accordance with the safety recommendation of the County Health Officer.
- Face coverings must be worn by anyone, regardless of age and vaccination status, inside of any AACPS building.
- Employees and families are responsible for symptoms screening at home.
- Classrooms will be organized to maximize space and promote at least 3 ft. distancing, to the extent possible, between students.
- Individual school supplies will not be shared to the greatest extent possible.
When an AACPS school or office is made aware of a COVID-19 positive case involving a student or staff member, the AACPS Contact Tracing Team, working in collaboration with the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, begins an investigation to determine those who were in proximity to the COVID-positive person during the exposure period (usually 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or, in the case of an asymptomatic person, the date of the COVID-19 test). With some limited exceptions, those determined to have been within 6 feet of the COVID-positive person for 15 total (not consecutive) minutes over a 24-hour period are identified as “close contacts.” Depending on vaccination status and in accordance with federal, state, and county medical guidelines, those identified as close contacts may be required to quarantine for up to 10 days. For updated information on the contact tracing process, visit www.aacps.org/contacttracing
Talk to your child about their feelings around going back to school. Help them to understand that their classrooms and interactions will be different. School staff will help them adjust by providing lessons and encouragement on new school procedures. Stay connected with your child’s school. School staff value relationships, especially during times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Reach out to your child’s school counselor or visit www.aacps.org/crisisresources for support. Remember that you are not alone, AACPS educators are available to assist you.
For additional details and information, please view AACPS' reopening plan at https://www.aacps.org/fall2021
Prince George's County Public Schools
PGCPS recommends COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone age 12 and up to help mitigate school and community spread. All staff are required to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. At least 3-feet of social distancing will be maintained in classrooms and other areas where possible.
Students and staff are required to wear masks inside of schools, administrative buildings and on school buses, regardless of vaccination status. Extra face masks, hand sanitizer, paper towels, toilet paper and soap will be available throughout the day. Nurses, paraprofessionals and other staff who will have close contact with students, along with staff working with students with disabilities, will receive additional PPE such as gloves, face shields and disposal gowns.
Schools will provide written notification to staff or families following exposure to a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case. If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case at a school or in a classroom, the infected individual will be required to quarantine at home for at least 10 days and be symptom-free before returning to a PGCPS building. Employees or students who were in close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual must quarantine for at least 10 days if not fully vaccinated; fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine following exposure to a person with confirmed or probable COVID-19 but should monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
In the event a single positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed, PGCPS will close the exposed area of the facility. If multiple positive cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in one site within three days (minimum), PGCPS will close the entire facility to clean and sanitize all areas.