FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) – Frederick County Public Schools announced Wednesday they will continue their plan to implement their hybrid learning system starting February 16.
The decision comes shortly after the county announced its rate of hospitalizations is at an all-time high.
FCPS Executive Director of Public Affairs Daryl Boffman said school staff will return to buildings on January 27 to prepare for the incoming students, giving them time to get oriented with new precautions.
“The hybrid model will allow us to bring in about 30% of our students at any given time and so we’ll have two cohorts,” Boffman said. “On Monday and Tuesday will be one cohort. And then on Thursday and Friday, there will be a second cohort.”
FCPS parent Jennifer Baker says she’s excited for her son to be back in school and says hybrid learning is a step in the right direction.
“You got to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run,” Baker said. “Hybrid is very much that intermediary step to at least returning our kids to some normalcy; to have them in a school building where they see their friends where they can work in person with a teacher.”
Baker is the admin of the “FCPS Maryland Parents & Supporters Advocating For The Reopening of Schools” Facebook group and said she’s thankful for the hard work the school system and Superintendent did to develop the learning plan.
Boffman says the start date is not set in stone, as the school system already delayed the hybrid model earlier in January.
The school system will work closely with the health department and could delay the transition if they see a spike in coronavirus cases.
“It will be easy to reverse course if we needed to because the schedule the students are going to be on in the building will be the same schedule that the students will be on virtually,” Boffmans said. “So it would not take a major change in our lesson plans. It’s just a matter of discontinuing bringing them into the building.”
The school system says health regulations for the school include mandatory face coverings for staff and students, sanitizing stations, and even logistical changes for hallway movements to ensure social distancing.