Frederick County BOE rescinds decision to expand elementary school hybrid model

Maryland

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The Frederick County Board of Education voted on Thursday to reverse their decisions for elementary schools to reduce social distancing measures to three feet and expand their in-person hybrid model to four days a week.

The initial decision was made on April 14 but was met with backlash from unions claiming these new measures violate the Memorandum of Understanding finalized earlier this year.

“They felt betrayed,” Teacher’s Association President Melissa Dirks said. “They felt like ‘well if they can unilaterally change this part of the contract, can’t they unilaterally change any part of the contract?'”

The MOU, which is in effect until June 30, 2021, states the Board will ensure 6 feet of distance is regulated in all classrooms, workspaces, etc.

The Frederick County Administrative and Supervisory Association (FCASA) placed a vote of no confidence against the school system and the three school unions filed a class-action grievance.

The Board voted to reverse the changes, with hopes to collaborate with the employee associations, getting more children back in the classroom safely.

“I’m going to vote for this motion out of respect for our administrators and our teachers,” Board Member Brad Young said. “But I’m doing it with the hope that…they truly want to get as many kids back is as possible.”

During the meeting, the Board also voted to authorize Superintendent Theresa Alban to begin discussions with the teacher’s union to revise the current MOU.

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