Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Tim Tooten, WBAL-TV 11
BALTIMORE — In-person learning is one step closer to reality for thousands of Baltimore City students.
The district’s plan to use 25 schools to launch its reopening plan is starting to take shape.
Lakeland Elementary-Middle School in southwest Baltimore is one of the schools that is getting a head start on in-person learning. It’s a much different look at the inside of a Baltimore City classroom since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Lakeland is one of the city’s learning centers that’s about to expand in order to accept more students. Until now, the doors have been opened mostly to students with special needs and English learners.
“I think between city schools and between Rec and Parks, we’ve been able to do something. We’re about four weeks in as a school and (we’re) excited to see our program continue to grow,” said Najib Jamma, Lakeland’s principal.
District officials said they’ve already put into place what they call “tight health and safety standards” for students and staff members.
“This is about making sure that people have trust in what we are doing, and so we’re taking it slow. We are phasing this in to make sure we’re getting right, and we want to make sure the community is getting a chance to see what we’re doing,” said Alison Perkins-Cohen, the district’s chief of staff.
Maryland state lawmakers, including Delegate Robbyn Lewis, D-Baltimore City, toured Lakeland on Tuesday.
“What you see here in this school is (an) example of Baltimore’s brilliant, fearless creativity, Baltimore’s commitment to science, public health and public safety,” Lewis said.
It’s a commitment that school officials said they’ve made for all students. Jamma said he’s already receiving requests from parents who are hoping to get their children in class.