Message From Karen Salmon, Superintendent Maryland Public Schools

Image Credit Baltimore Sun

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As we close out the school year, I applaud the outstanding efforts of administrators, educators, support staff, and parents for engaging children in learning during this historic pandemic. Special congratulations to our Class of 2020 graduating seniors and families who have had to sacrifice the traditional rites of passage associated with high school commencements with grace and maturity. Education is always a true partnership, and that is true more this year than ever before.

Over the summer break, I encourage families to continue to take advantage of learning resources offered through schools, libraries and other resources. Local systems across the State are making several summer opportunities available.

With schools closing for summer break, focus is now on the next school year. Last week MSDE released the second iteration of Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education.  It features a list of 13 requirements for local systems as Maryland moves forward in recovery:

Local school systems must have their recovery plans completed and posted to their websites by August 14, 2020. MSDE will review all local recovery plans to ensure that the plans include and address all requirements for opening schools.

Local school system’s equity plan must be reflected throughout the local recovery plans.

Local school systems must establish a recovery plan stakeholder group that is representative of their schools and community.

Schools must determine where their students are instructionally, identify the gaps in learning and prepare a path for instructional success and recovery.

All local school systems must ensure MD College and Career Ready Standards PreK-12 are taught in all content areas and State frameworks are followed for each content area.

Local school systems must follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Local school systems must follow procedures that are developed by MSDE in collaboration with the MD Department of Health and guidance from the CDC for an individual who tests positive for COVID-19.

Local school systems must follow safety protocols for collection of materials, cleaning of schools and other facilities, daily cleaning, and nutrition as established by MSDE in collaboration with the MD Department of Health and CDC guidance.

Local school systems must follow protocols for the safe transportation of students to and from schools.

Local school systems should develop a system for tracking attendance when students are engaged in distance learning.

Each local school system needs to develop its own plan for communication. The COVID-19 checklist (Appendix A) must be utilized in the development of the recovery plan.

The Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association (MPSSAA) roadmap forward for interscholastic athletics and activities must align with the Maryland State Department of Education and the LSS educational and health and safety decisions in order for education-based athletics and activities to resume during Stage one and Stage two of the Governor’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.

We will continue to monitor conditions, and make decisions about fall openings later this summer.  Enjoy the summer break and stay safe and healthy!

Editor’s Note: Dr. Salmon’s message is copied word for word from MSDE direct e-mail to the public.

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