Prior to the Howard County Board of Education (HoCoBOE) meeting on July 16th I wrote the following article “Will the Howard County Board of Education consider possible limitations of daycare facilities as learning environments in the decision process for starting schools?”
We now know that the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will be in a virtual learning environment for the first semester of this upcoming school year (which begins Tuesday, September 8 and ends on Thursday, January 28, 2021).
One of my big concerns was the idea of attendance during the upcoming school year for young children in the school system. This was based off of a slide in the HCPSS presentation to the HoCoBOE members:
I was happy to see a HoCoBOE member (Jen Mallo) ask this question in the meeting last night…here is a video of the question and answer from the HCPSS Superintendent (Dr. Michael Martirano):
Dr. Martirano mentions that he be meeting with the state Superintendent today and he will have more relevant and timely information to communicate to the board later today on this topic. Hopefully we see something on the HCPSS news page with that information to the community. It is something I am interested in hearing more about before the start of this upcoming school year.
I hope a plan is in place that protects the school children from some of the following scenarios:
- Daycare facilities or providers that do not have the space or setup to be learning facilities.
- Internet outages (let’s say your Comcast line at home goes down and it take days to get a tech onsite to repair the problem).
- Areas of the county or buildings where the mobile hotspots being provided do not work optimally everyday for distance learning.
Those are just some of the things that came to mind in regards to the potential issues of connectivity and the idea of daily attendance for the upcoming school year.