Despite uptick in COVID-19 cases, some Baltimore City Schools are set to reopen Monday
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Tim Tooten, WBAL-TV 11
BALTIMORE — Even though coronavirus cases are rising across the state, it won’t stop Baltimore City school officials from bringing special education students back.
WBAL-TV 11 News took an inside look at William S. Baer School in West Baltimore to show the protections in place.
To say that staff members at William S. Baer School are a bit anxious about students returning to the classroom may be an understatement.
“Our parents who have trusted us to be able to bring their child back to school.
We are ready to serve those students,” William S. Baer School Principal Zulema Sockwell-Moore said.
It’s starting to look and feel a lot like the first day of school. Administrators say they have plenty of personal protective equipment on hand and have spent countless hours training staff for a safe return. Sockwell-Moore expects about 50 students to come back to class, far fewer than the 160 who showed up before the pandemic.
“The Baer school services students between the ages of three and 21 who have a variety of disabling conditions and we’re proud to work with some of the most medically fragile in all of Baltimore City,” Sockwell-Moore said.
In addition to William S. Baer, three other Baltimore City day schools are set to open on Monday. It’s what Gov. Larry Hogan and the state school superintendent have been calling for since the beginning of the school year, but Hogan says any decision on whether to begin or continue in-person instruction remains up to local school boards.
“Well, nobody was really pushing to fill the schools with people but there are some special populations that just can’t do the distance learning in that they really were trying to get the kids who needed it most — small number safely back into schools and I think many of the school systems will continue to be able to do that,” Hogan said.
And that’s exactly what’s taking place in Baltimore City.
“We actually have talked with the staff about making sure that even though they’re excited to see all of our kids, we maintain social distancing and we are apart from the kids as much as we can,” Sockwell-Moore said.
On Nov. 16, school officials will open the doors to 40 more buildings for students to return to in-person learning.