Worcester County Schools Inviting All Students Back March 8; About 20% May Remain Virtual

NEWARK – Worcester County public schools will welcome back students full-time March 8.

On Tuesday, Superintendent Lou Taylor released a message advising parents Worcester County Public Schools would move into Stage 4 of its Responsible Return plan March 8. Stage 4 returns all students to full-time in-person learning.

“This is truly an exciting time as we move back to what we consider normal learning,” Taylor said Tuesday. “We all know that nothing takes the place of in person learning. That teacher student contact is something that is so vital in a child’s learning process.”

After virtual learning in November and December when COVID-19 positivity rates were high, the school system brought a first wave of students back to schools in mid-January. On Feb. 8, the rest of the school system’s students began in-person learning on an A week, B week rotation. With Taylor’s latest announcement, all students who have opted to return to in-person learning will do so March 8.

Taylor acknowledged that with the influx of students, physical distancing would not be possible on buses. He encouraged parents who were able to transport their own children to school.

“The change that you will see will be kids sitting with others not necessarily from the same household,” Taylor said. “I can assure you our bus drivers and transportation personnel will make sure those buses are clean, disinfected and all students and adults are still wearing masks.”

Taylor also thanked Worcester County Public Schools staff for their ongoing efforts during the pandemic.

“I want to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to our teachers,” he said. “They have worked extremely hard, harder than I’ve ever seen them work in all my years in education.”

He pointed out they were still preparing multiple lessons for in-person and virtual students.

“They do it with such grace and professionalism,” he said.

He asked parents to do their part by ensuring students observed “the 4 W’s” by staying home when sick, washing their hands, wearing their masks and watching their distance whenever possible.

“Together we are making a big difference getting our students in front of their teachers,” he said.

According to Carrie N. Sterrs, coordinator of public relations and special programs for the school system, approximately 80% of the county’s 6.650 students are expected to be enrolled for in-person learning on March 8 with the remainder (approximately 1,330) opting to stay with virtual instruction.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.