Anne Arundel County Public School(AACPS) Superintendent Geroge Arlotto, Ed.D announced this week that AACPS will begin with in-person, five-day a week instruction for its students on September 8(1-5,6 &9) and September 9 for all students. Arlotto also stated that the system has no plans for hybrid learning this year.

As required by State and Federal law, anyone on a school bus must wear a mask at all times, vaccinated or not.

At AACPS schools this fall, students and staff will be allowed to be unmasked during outdoor activities, including athletics and marching band, provided they exercise the maximum possible physical distancing. When appropriate physical distancing cannot be maintained, all student-athletes, coaches, officials, game management staff, and spectators are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.

There may be exceptions to outdoor protocols at schools on Fort George G. Meade, where federal directives would take precedence.

Indoors, all students and staff – regardless of age or vaccination status – will be masked except in limited circumstances. Those include:

  • Indoor athletics, where student-athletes and officials engaged in strenuous practice activity or participating in competition may be unmasked during that time. At all other times, student-athletes must be masked. Spectators and coaches will be masked at all timesindoors.
  • Eating, which will be done in school cafeterias (and additional approved areas in high schools)utilizing the maximum distancingpossible.
  • Choral and theater classes, where singing will be done in sections distanced to the maximum extent possible, with participants masked at any time they are not singing. In theater classes, speakers will be masked when rehearsing or performing theirlines.
  • Band and strings classes, where participants playing a wind instrument will be distanced to the maximum extent possible, wear a split mask when available, and be masked at any time they are not playing. Those students playing percussion and other non-wind instruments will be masked when rehearsing or performing.

We plan to return to in-person cultural arts instruction and are still finalizing appropriate protocols for those classes.

In line with actions taken by the county, effective Monday, August 9, 2021, employees, contractors, and visitors in our Central and Satellite offices and our schools will be required to be masked at any time during which they are in the proximity of someone else regardless of age or vaccination status.

The Department of Health and our school system are teaming up to offer clinics at some of our school buildings through the remainder of the summer. Those clinics and registration links can be found at www.aacps.org/vaccines. Additional vaccination clinic information can be found at www.aahealth.org. If you have questions about vaccination, please consult your family physician or call the Department of Health’s COVID Health Line at 410-222-7256.

There has been considerable conversation about orientation activities for students entering grades 7 and 10 who missed what would have been traditional sessions as they entered new middle school and high school buildings last year. Schools are scheduling opportunities for those students to get familiarized with buildings through the remainder of the summer and will be contacting families with specifics. If you do not receive that information soon, please contact your student’s school.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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