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COVID-19 in Maryland Education

Prince George’s County Public Schools Shifts to Virtual Learning due to Uptick in COVID Cases

The Prince George’s County Public Schools headquarters in Upper Marlboro. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

By Zeke Hartner

All Prince George’s County Public Schools will move to virtual learning for the final stretch of the school year and into the first month of 2022 due to an uptick in cases found within the school system, the school system’s CEO announced Friday.

Monica Goldson said all regularly scheduled classes between Monday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 will be held virtually. In-person learning for most students will start back up after the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Students in the K-6 Virtual Learning Program will return on Jan. 31.

Goldson said the decision was made so that educators and school staff could continue to deliver instruction “in conditions that prioritize their own health, as well as the well-being of the school community.”

Parents who need to pick up items from the school necessary for virtual learning will be able to stop by their children’s schools on Dec. 20. Goldson said individual schools would be providing pick up times to their communities soon.

Meal distributions will be held between Dec. 20 and Dec. 22 between 10 a.m. and noon. Goldson said plans for January meal distribution will be available soon.

“I strongly encourage all of you to take every precaution against COVID-19, follow social distancing protocols and get vaccinated,” Goldson said.

Montgomery County Public Schools maintains that they will continue in-person learning unless they are made to switch to virtual learning by local or state officials, though the system has suspended in-person, non-athletic extracurricular activities outside the school day from Monday, Dec. 20, through Friday, Jan. 7. Scheduled games and practices will take place as planned.

On Wednesday, three Prince George’s County schools were forced to close after a high number of COVID-19 cases were detected.

Last week, the school system had a two-day case total of 100; this week, there were 155 cases reported in one day, Goldson said in a statement announcing the closure.

The University of Maryland at College Park announced Thursday that it was canceling all winter commencement activities, including graduation, because of a sharp uptick in COVID-19 cases in the region.

As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Zeke Hartner. WTOP’s Rick Massimo and Scott Gelman contributed to this report. Click here for the WTOP News website.


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Prince George’s County Public Schools Shifts to Virtual Learning due to Uptick in COVID Cases