Baltimore City Pauses In-Person Learning for a Week After Thanksgiving

    Baltimore City Public Schools will pause all in-person learning and meal sites for a week after Thanksgiving as a safety precaution recommended by health officials.

    “The Thanksgiving holiday may include travel for family and social gatherings that pose transmission risks for students, families, and staff,” school officials said in a statement. “Caution is required, and this brief pause in in-person learning reflects the recommendations of health officials.”

    Currently, Baltimore City has 27 school buildings open for in-person learning for around 1,200 students with disabilities, early learners, English learners, homeless students, students in grades 6 and 9 and students who cannot consistently participate in virtual learning.

    The school system also has 15 student learning centers, providing a place and support for around 1,000 students to complete lessons.

    All students will learn remotely from Monday, Nov. 30 through Friday, Dec. 4. In person-classes, student learning centers and meal sites will resume on Monday, Dec. 7.

    While meal sites are closed at school centers for the week, alternative meal options can be found at other sites across the city, a part of Baltimore COVID-19 Emergency Food Strategy initiative by the Mayor’s Office of Children & Family Success.

    The Baltimore Teachers’ Union has been asking city schools to commit to a full virtual learning model until at least the winter. Not only students but secretaries and other school personnel should also stay at home for a week after Thanksgiving, union leaders said.

    “We also call on the district to allow school secretaries and other personnel to also be able to work from home during the week after Thanksgiving,” Diamonté Brown, the president of BTU, said in an email. “Our secretaries hold our schools together, completing many essential tasks — which thankfully are tasks that can be done safely from home.”

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    Elizabeth Shwe
    Shwe covered California state politics during her internship at The Sacramento Bee. She is a 2020 graduate of Princeton University with a degree in political science. At Princeton she was a producer for WPRB 103.3 FM News & Culture section, the station’s only long form podcast-type program. Shwe also wrote for The Daily Princetonian, and tutored with the Petey Greene Program, which offers free tutoring to incarcerated people. Shwe is a Report for America corps member.