Wealthy School District In Suburban D.C. Opts For Virtual Learning ONLY Until April 2021

Written by Wes Walker on November 18, 2020

When will we admit that this really isn’t about the science?

When kids are learning from home, that puts pressure on the parents and their employers to change their plans too. This puts a lot of de-facto power in the hands of a small group of decision-makers who often have agendas of their own.

And right now, despite all the advances we’ve seen in updating safety protocols, handwashing, therapeutics, and all the rest, despite the impossibly low risk of the more serious outcomes to the students even if they do catch The Virus, the reflex decision is the one motivated by fear of the worst-case-scenario.

We have government officials looking at a second round of shutdown when even the World Health Org doesn’t agree with that approach. Now, in Maryland’s Howard County, the study-from-home school year is poised to stretch into its first full year.

The board was expected to vote on whether to approve the hybrid reopening plan for the second semester — as long as the coronavirus metrics in the county allow it — at its meeting Thursday. Instead, the motion to remain in a virtual learning model through the end of the third quarter was approved, 5-2, with members Christina Delmont-Small and Chao Wu as the two dissenting votes; Vice Chairperson Vicky Cutroneo was not present for the vote due to technical difficulties.

“We set up metrics, whether it’s February or March or April,” Wu said. “If the metrics are not met, we aren’t going to a hybrid model. What we are talking about now is the conceptual model. If we’re afraid to do anything because we don’t know what could happen, we are failing ourselves.”

The vote will keep the majority of the district’s approximately 57,000 students learning online until April 14 — almost exactly a full year since the school system launched its abbreviated virtual learning model in the early weeks of the pandemic during this past spring.–BaltimoreSun

They had support in place for students that were struggling with the study-from-home method. But guess what?

While the vote will extend virtual learning, it does also task the school system to continue to improve and expand upon the small group, in-person support programs it is currently providing to students who most need them.

However, before the start of Monday’s work session, schools Superintendent Michael Martirano said those in-person programs at 26 schools across the county will be temporarily suspended beginning Thursday due to the county’s increasing coronavirus numbers. School system officials will reevaluate the county’s health metrics on Nov. 30 to decide whether to resume the in-person programs on Dec. 3. —BaltimoreSun

Were these administrators voting on a full return to school?

Don’t be ridiculous. Not even close — they were voting on a hybrid, 2-days-in-class-the-rest-from-home model which included Wednesdays as a work-on-your-own-from-home day that teachers use for class prep.

Students are kicked out of the classroom for a full year, and nobody bats an eye. The government shuts down almost the entire retail and hospitality industries at the stroke of a pen, and nobody bats an eye.

But shut down the government, and the gravy train at which these groups feed for even a single day, and the world is about to end.

This should tell us everything we need to know about who the politicians, the journalists, and the loudest voices pushing endless shutdown really think.

As long as THEIR job is protected, or they can work from home, they’re happy to lock it down.