The Howard County Board of Education voted 5 – 2 in favor of the Howard County Public School System to remain in a virtual learning environment for the third quarter of the 2020-2021 school year.
There were attempts to delay a decision on the hybrid model or relook at various other hybrid models (both of those motions failed) before a vote to reject the currently proposed hybrid model presented by HCPSS.
Here are the published votes from the motions during the work session this afternoon/evening:
According to the HCPSS 2020-2021 calendar the End of 3rd marking period is April 14th.
You can watch the full meeting here: https://hcpsstv.new.swagit.com/videos/107157
Here is a post from Dr. Chao Wu (HoCoBOE Board Member):
Tonight, HCPSS board moved to remain virtual for quarter three and continue on with enhancements and expansion of student groups and considering staff preferences.
I voted NO on this decision. I really hoped that we could allow the superintendent to take some extra time and create a plan which matches the student needs and staff availability using more accurate data, which may start a hybrid plan as early as next February if the safety metrics is met. If the pandemic continues to be bad next February, the metrics will not be met and no in-person instruction will start at all.
Unfortunately, it was voted down. The metrics we approved several weeks ago was thrown away. We failed to even try to create a hybrid plan unfortunately.
Here is a post from Christina Delmont-Small (HoCoBOE Member):
The Board of Education’s number one focus must be the education of our students and their safe return to buildings where they can receive an education in person from a teacher.
I’m very disappointed that the majority of the Board voted this evening to remain virtual through the third quarter. At a prior meeting, the Board established metrics based on input from medical and public health experts to guide when it would be safe to return students and staff to our schools. This evening’s vote neutered that vote and the metrics, and ignores science that so many have insisted we use when making decisions.
Tonight’s meeting is an example of the Board tying the hands of the Superintendent to do the job he was hired to do – educate our students. The Superintendent repeatedly asked the Board for flexibility and latitude to develop a model to bring students back into the buildings. Unfortunately, the Board majority seems more intent on limiting the Superintendent than providing him the framework for our students to return safely to our buildings.
Please continue to share your ideas to improve the education of our students. I know many of you are very discouraged, but we need your voices now more than ever.
If other board members provide public statements (and I see them) I will update this article.