On The Fall, Wicomico Schools Superintendent: ‘We Must Be Prepared To Continue With Remote Learning And A Combination Of Both Remote And Face-To-Face’

On The Fall, Wicomico Schools Superintendent: ‘We Must Be Prepared To Continue With Remote Learning And A Combination Of Both Remote And Face-To-Face’
Wicomico Superintendent of Schools Dr. Donna Hanlin is pictured in a file photo with students.

SALISBURY – School leaders in Wicomico County on Tuesday said families will receive more information in the coming weeks as the school system begins planning for the 2020-2021 academic year.

On Tuesday, Superintendent Donna Hanlin presented the Wicomico County Board of Education with an update on summer school programs and academic instruction as the school system begins to plan for the coming academic year.

This summer, Wicomico County Public Schools will offer online enrichment and intervention activities for elementary school students, as well as virtual summer school for middle and high school students in need of earning credits and improving skills.

High school students will be able to earn credit for classes previously failed and also  for original credit, while middle school students can keep their skills sharp with a personalized learning experience in both math and reading.

“We do have a lot of opportunities for students this summer …,” Hanlin said. “All of that information will be coming through the school principals to our families.”

Hanlin this week also announced an effort to gather feedback from community stakeholders regarding educational instruction this fall.

“We have been having a lot of discussion with recovery planning and what the fall will look like …,” Hanlin said. “We are looking at three scenarios with a great deal still unknown.”

Hanlin said the school system’s three scenarios – to continue with remote learning, to return to school or a hybrid of digital and in-person instruction – would be considered in the coming month. Hanlin said the school system will also seek feedback from parents regarding the three options.

“Over the course of the next few weeks, groups with stakeholder representation will engage with the framework outlined in the MSDE Maryland Together guidance with the goal of soliciting feedback from the larger school community in late June with final decisions coming in mid-July,” she said in a message to families and staff. “While we all hope that we will be able to return fully to our buildings, we must be prepared to continue with remote learning and a combination of both remote and face-to-face.”

Officials on Tuesday also announced the school system had received more than $5 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Based upon CARES funding, Wicomico County Public Schools will be receiving just over $5 million from the federal government,” Hanlin said,
“and there’s a list of approved expenditures with the CARES funding.”

Hanlin said the funds would be used to increase the inventory of personal protective equipment and launch a one-to-one initiative in the fall. Through the initiative, the school system will expand digital education resources through the purchase of laptops, hotspots and additional software for reading and math.

“When that plan is finalized, we will be happy to share that on our website,” she said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.