Washington County Public School teachers are returning to empty classrooms

Maryland

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — It was unanimously decided that Washington County Public school teachers would begin the year with distance learning.

However, immediately after receiving that news, teachers found out that they would be expected to report to their empty classrooms to deliver that online instruction to students.

Many teachers feel fearful for their health going back to school, and some teachers are struggling to find daycare for their own children.

Some teachers say with the lack of compromise this may take away some teachers’ flexibility to work beyond school hours with students. 

Some staff members say with the lack of flexibility they will be forced to make the difficult decision to take a federally funded 12-week leave with a pay cut.

“I think sometimes the expectations for us is unrealistic, sometimes, but we’re doing what we can and we’ll do whatever we can to make sure that kids are doing what they need to do in order to be successful in school,” said fourth grade teacher Jodi Gearhart.

“After meeting with the superintendent, it’s clear to me that he is passionate about trying to recreate an exciting, engaging school experience for students. I’m excited about some of his plans for this unusual start to the school year. There are clearly some challenges with many teachers also being parents. I hope my fellow school board members and Dr. Michael can work on some creative solutions in the coming days,” said Elected Member, Washington County Board of Education, Pieter Bickford.

Dr. Michael will present his plans for reopening during the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, August 4 at 6 p.m. It will be streamed on the WCPS website and Facebook page.

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