EASTON, Md. — Talbot County’s Board of Education has approved a phase-in model for the 2020-2021 school year, presented by superintendent Dr. Kelly Griffith.
The Board also voted to revise the school calendar to reflect a September 8th start date.
In a statement Dr. Griffith said, “Our priority is providing the safest learning environment possible for our students and staff.” The plan includes five phases, and transitions of any of these phases will be pending a daily evaluation of health statistics with the local Talbot County Health Officer, Dr. Fredia Wadley.
Phase 1: Red Model – all students will participate in virtual instruction four days per week. TCPS will provide a schedule for each level, lessons will be synchronous and traditional grading and attendance practices will be in place. Teachers will provide asynchronous instruction one day per week. The red model will begin on the first day of school, which is now September 8.
Phase 2: Orange Model – priority special population groups will be offered face-to-face instruction some days per week with virtual instruction on other days. The orange model will begin the second week of school on September 14th if surveys indicate sufficient participation.
Phase 3: Hybrid Yellow Model – Prekindergarten and kindergarten students, Grade 6 and Grade 9 students will be offered face-to-face instruction two days per week on the AA/BB plan. Virtual learning will take place on off-site school days. This is a transition of the which provides time for various groups new to a school setting to get acclimated to the learning environment. This would begin on October 5, which is the fifth week of school.
Phase 4: Hybrid Yellow Model – All students in prekindergarten through Grade 12 will be offered face-to-face instruction two days per week on the AA/BB plan. Virtual learning will take place on off-site school days. This is also apart of the hybrid yellow model, which will start November 9th, the beginning of second quarter.
Phase 5: Green Model – All students in prekindergarten through Grade 12 return to face-to-face instruction five days per week. The green model will only occur when authorized by the Governor and the Maryland State Department of Education.
The school board says they plan to survey parents and staff of priority special populations in order to be able to transition small groups and continue development of the Blended Virtual Program as an alternative for second semester. They also are looking to increase internet connectivity in homes.
TCPS will continue to revise the Recovery Plan to include a definite plan for starting the school year and continue to monitor stage development by Gov. Larry Hogan and be ready to respond quickly.
School officials say the final plan will again be presented to the Board of Education at their meeting on August 12, and will be posted as required by MSDE on or before August 14.