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The decision on the “Return to In-Person Instruction” has been made and the phase in process begins on March 1st…but there is still a lot to watch over the next week in regards to schools reopening in Howard County. Here is a list of items I am watching:

February 9th: Progress of the “HCEA’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing Work to Rule effective Feb. 22, 2021“: https://scotteblog.com/2021/02/03/howard-county-education-association-board-of-directors-voted-unanimously-to-approve-a-resolution-authorizing-work-to-rule-effective-feb-22nd/

  • “Before work-to-rule takes effect, our elected Building Representatives must approve it on Feb. 9, and HCEA members must ratify it afterward.”

February 10th: The deadline for parents/guardians to make the commitment regarding hybrid or virtual learning for remainder of the school year is February 10th:  https://scotteblog.com/2021/02/04/hcpss-has-extended-the-deadline-to-feb-10th-for-parents-guardians-to-make-the-commitment-regarding-hybrid-or-virtual-learning-for-remainder-of-the-school-year/

February 11th: 4 & 7 p.m. Virtual Meeting of the Board of Education of Howard County. Noted on the agenda for that meeting is the following:

  • COVID-19 UPDATE/2020-2021 School Year Status (Michael Martirano) – WORK SESSION
    • Will we get a report of the number of families that indicated a return to in-person education vs number of families that indicated for students to remain hybrid?
    • Will we get a report on the number of families that did not respond to the online survey?
    • An update on: “Howard County Public School System Superintendent reports 25% of school staff have received or are scheduled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this week” (Learn more). Will this be seen as good progress or will there still be concerns about the number of education staff not vaccinated yet?
  • Other items to watch for in that meeting:
    • Will we get an update on the letter sent by the Board of Education? “The Howard County Board of Education sent a letter to Governor Hogan asking for 20,000 COVID-19 vaccinations by February 15th for our county and for our educators” (Learn more)? What will this letter or the response to this letter mean in regards to the return of teachers to schools?
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February 16th: The Maryland State Education Association event: “Protest about the reopening of schools in Howard County scheduled for February 16th – Cars Against COVID: Parents and Educators for Safe Schools(Learn more).

These are the items I know about and will be watching. No matter which side of this issue you are on I would recommend paying attention to all of the things happening over the next week in Howard County.

Scott E