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Charles County schools delays Phase 2 of reopening due to increase of coronavirus cases

In October, the Charles County Board of Education voted 5-2 to put more students back in the classroom on Nov. 9.

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. — Charles County Public Schools has officially paused their Phase 2 reopening plan due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the Maryland area, school officials said in an online statement Thursday.

"We will continue to monitor the data and reassess; however, we will not consider a move to Phase 2 until after the first of the year because of the upcoming holiday season. CCPS will continue virtual learning for all students until further notice," the school district said.

CCPS officials say they are committed to the return of in-person instruction and will continue to provide professional development opportunities to support hybrid instruction for students.

CCPS officials will implement the following changes across schools for both students and staff:

  • Effective Nov. 9, employees who were on Phase 1-approved telework will be permitted to return to telework. School buildings will remain open for teachers and instructional assistants to work from their classrooms if they choose. All school-based staff is expected to report to their worksite on Friday, Nov. 6.  
  • Student learning centers will reopen on Monday, Nov. 9. 
  • CCPS said they are aiming to reopen the internet cafes at Henry E. Lackey High School and Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
  • The athletic competition season is on hold until the official move to Phase 2. 
  • Student-athletes may continue off-season conditioning during Phase 1.
  • AlphaBest sites will not open until Phase 2. 

In October, the Charles County Board of Education voted 5-2 to put more Maryland public education students back in the classroom starting Nov. 9, until it was delayed Thursday afternoon.

Parents of children who were identified as eligible to return under Phase 2 were given the choice to continue virtual learning or send their kids back to the classroom. Of the 27,000 CCPS students, 7,256 students are eligible to return during Phase 2. 

CCPS has five phases to its reopening plan, each of which returns new groups of students to classrooms. However, parents have the option of continuing virtual education for their child throughout the 2020-21 school year.

"Phase 2 provides opportunities to provide a more equitable education for children who are not well served in the virtual environment or who do not have reliable internet connectivity at home," Superintendent Kimberly Hill said.

RELATED: Coronavirus updates: DC Mayor urges people to limit travel ahead of holiday season

RELATED: Charles County Public Schools could welcome some students back to the classroom in November

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