BY: David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Staff Writer

UPDATE 05/06/2020:

Annapolis, MD- At a press conference on May 6, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. Governor Larry Hogan and State Education Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon announced schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019/20 school year.

We are receiving press releases from the counties on what is going on for graduations and continuing distance learning. We will update once reviewed.

Also at this live press conference, Governor Hogan stated that the numbers the Coronavirus Advisory Group look at; the numbers of hospitalizations and ICU beds, have stayed steady or decreased. With that, he said if this continues, the Stay at Home Order could be lifted next week and we could begin Phase 1 of the Recovery plan.

Phase 1 of the Roadmap to Recovery includes the lifting of the Stay at Home Order. This could include the following changes that could take place during Phase 1 roll-out:

a. Small shops and certain small businesses
b. Curbside pickup and drop-off for businesses
c. Elective medical and dental procedures at ambulatory, outpatient, and
medical offices
d. Limited attendance outdoor religious gatherings
e. Recreational boating, fishing, golf, tennis, hiking, and hunting
f. Car washes
g. Limited outdoor gym and fitness classes
h. Outdoor work with appropriate distancing measures
i. Some personal services

These changes may not happen all at once depending on where the state is at with illnesses, and hospitalizations.

Hogan also stated that he was easing outdoor recreation activities effective at 7 am on May 7, 2020. These activities include:

Golf, tennis, boating, fishing, camping, along with opening activities at state parks, state beaches, and state playgrounds. The Governor stated that people need to take personal responsibility and should not gather in groups larger than 10. The wearing of masks is still required.

Local governments will have the flexibility to ease restrictions in their counties and towns based on their COVID-19 numbers.

This is a developing story.

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UPDATE 4/18/2020:

Annapolis, MD- At a press conference today, Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent for Education with Governor Larry Hogan announced Maryland schools would stay closed until May 15, 2020.

On March 25, 2020, Dr. Salmon announced Maryland schools would remain closed until April 24, 2020, with a start date of April 27, 2020.

Schools have spent the past several weeks rolling out paper packets for students without internet and setting up online instruction for those with it.

We will bring you more details as they are annoucned.

This is a developing story

Annapolis, MD(4/25/2020)- Dr. Karen Salmon, Superintendent of Maryland Schools announced today that all Maryland schools will remain closed until April 24, 2020. Dr. Salmon announced that it would be an additional 4 weeks.

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Governor Hogan announced Maryland schools would be closed from March 16-27, 2020. Since then numerous states surrounding Maryland have either closed completely for the academic year or pushed their reopening date to mid-May.

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Many cable companies have opened up their hotspots, stopped throttling connections, and vowed to not cut service because many schools and districts are offering distance learning and some parents are doing their best to home-schools.

ABCMouse, Adventure Academy, Reading IQ and dozens of other online educational programs have offered their programs at severely reduced fees or, in most cases; plain free. ABC Mouse, Adventure Academy, and Reading IQ are working with schools to set up a program through Age of Learning. Check with your school to see if they have set up an account for its students.

Achieve 3000 is a digital literacy library for grades 2- 12 and is offering their service for free.

123 Homeschool ME-Free printable worksheets and educational activities, arranged by grade or subject.

2Simple: Purple Mash, designed for children aged 3-11, offers tools for coding, animation, publishing, art and also applications for math, spelling, and grammar, e-books and more.

Amazon Future Engineer: Amazon Future Engineer is offering a virtual robotics program through partners CoderZ. The fully sequenced course accommodates age levels from second grade with block-based coding to high school with text-based coding. Amazon Future Engineer also is providing access to EarSketch, a free program that helps students learn to code through music. 

Charles County Public Schools opened up their distance learning app, however, students are not required to complete any work and any work done will not be graded.

We published an article late last week from the Smithsonian Institutes with several other programs available to parents and guardians to help home school their kids.

This is a developing story…

Editors Note: I will be making a spreadsheet of all known programs for helping parents with keeping their children learning through this time. It should be ready in a few days. ~ David H.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...