Important Information
COVID-19 Guidance, Resources and Updates

for Maryland Schools and Communities

Multiple state agencies are collaborating on and are committed to the health and safety of students and staff in the school setting. We are working collaboratively with the Governor's Office, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and all other relevant State agencies on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Maryland State Department of Education will remain vigilant in providing all information regarding the virus as it pertains to the health and safety of students and staff in our schools.

Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings in SchoolsPDF document link to Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings in Schools

Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of COVID-19 and Persons with COVID-19-like Illness in SchoolsPDF document link to Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of COVID-19 and Persons with COVID-19-like Illness in Schools

Click Here to learn more information on COVID-19.

Important Update:

September 1, 2020 State Board of Education Presentation on Student Engagement

Student Engagement Recommendations
Adopted by the State Board September 1, 2020

Invitation to provide comment/input:

Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for EducationMSDE welcomes public comments on the Updated Maryland Together: Maryland's Recovery Plan for Education

Please email comments to: until further notice. Comments will be reviewed on a continuous basis.

Fall 2020 Reopening of Maryland Schools
Remarks August 27, 2020

Remarks by Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D.

Thank you, Governor.

Ensuring that our children return to school buildings safely as we continue to confront this pandemic is one of the greatest challenges facing our nation. It is impossible to ignore the impact - that not having students in the classroom - is having on every area of daily life.

It is our responsibility as a society, and as a State, to make sure that school buildings reopen safely for in-person instruction as soon as possible.

Earlier this week, the State Board of Education reviewed the reopening plans of all 24 local school systems for the upcoming school year and will continue to evaluate the implementation of each plan in coming weeks.

Next week, the State Board will discuss my recommendation on the minimum number of hours of real-time, face-to-face instruction that systems must provide to students during this initial period of virtual learning.

I believe that every child deserves to have a high-quality education every day of the school year.  That means 5 days a week and 6 hours a day.  I believe that during the time of virtual learning, at least 3.5 hours daily of that time - should be guided synchronously by a teacher.  Setting this standard is the only way to assure an equitable education for all children across our state. 

I have heard loud and clear from parents across the State, that what occurred this past spring is not acceptable and we can't allow that to happen again.  Parents of our at- risk children and our children with special needs have been especially consistent with their message that they need more direct instruction for their children. 

As the Governor has noted, in recent weeks our COVID numbers in the State have improved considerably.

Today, in light of those improving numbers and with these specific metrics provided by the Department of Health, I am strongly encouraging local school systems to reevaluate their mode of instruction by the end of the first quarter of the upcoming school year, especially if they have indicated that they are maintaining a virtual delivery system until January of 2021.

Given the metrics provided by the State Health Department, schools in the lowest-risk jurisdictions should be able to resume some form of in-person instruction for pre-K through high school students with proper social distancing, hygiene, face coverings, and other mitigation practices in place.

While adherence to these metrics for re-entry into classrooms are not considered requirements, I am strongly encouraging local school systems to utilize our improving numbers and the provided metrics as the driving force for the decision to return to school buildings.

At this point, 16 school systems have already announced their intentions to begin small group instruction at various points in the fall.

Many school systems have demonstrated tremendous leadership and initiative by bringing small groups of students back together in a safe environment.

In counties, like Calvert and Worcester over the summer, we saw how in-person instruction can be provided to small groups of students during the pandemic. We saw photos of desks at a distance, masks being worn by all students, outdoor breaks for students from mask wearing and limited capacity in the classroom.

The State stands ready to assist school systems that make the decision to bring students back in-person, and 10 million dollars in grant funding will be available for systems who are able to move towards in-person instruction at the end of the first marking period.

Health and safety precautions must remain in place once we begin to bring more students back into schools, and school systems should continue to work in conjunction with local health officials to monitor trends in the metrics and any outbreaks at area schools.

As it relates to the immediate situation regarding schools and child care, every local school system has made the decision to begin the year virtually.

This has understandably created an additional and immediate need for available child care. Currently, more than 78% of child care providers across the State have reopened their facilities at this time, and assisting in that reopening while expediting the licensing process for providers is one of the State Department of Education’s primary goals.

We have received countless requests to raise the capacity restrictions on child care programs and expand the number of children that are eligible to attend for the beginning of this school year.

However, it would be illogical to deny children the opportunity to return to the classroom only to increase the number of children congregating in another location, essentially serving as a de facto replacement for a school environment.

As school systems reconsider their decisions to return to in-person instruction, we will also continue to reassess whether we can increase the capacity in child care classrooms.

The Governor and I will travel to different school sites in Maryland in the coming weeks to observe systems that are bringing small groups of students back into a safe and educationally effective environment.  I look forward to greeting our students and educators in the coming months and wish every one of our 900 thousand students a healthy, safe and productive school year.

Thank you.

New! Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care Outlines Path Forward for Child Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) developed Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Child Care, a plan to continue and expand child care during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As the State entered the first recovery stage, MSDE announced the immediate start of a transition phase for child care, expanding access to child care to include families returning to work under Governor Hogan’s latest Executive Order. MSDE established a comprehensive stakeholder task force, including family and center-based providers, child care advocates, as well as Maryland Department of Health representatives, to provide recommendations that helped to inform the recovery plan.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to Maryland’s child care providers, teachers and staff who have agreed to deliver services for essential persons and first responders, as well as those child care providers who have remained closed for the health and safety of their staff and families,” said Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Schools. “Maryland’s family and center-based child care providers are critical to our recovery efforts – we will move forward together with safety as the priority.”

News Releases

Maryland State Department of Education Provides $10 Million in Grant Funding to Support In-Person Instruction This Fall

Maryland Career & Technical Students Shine at FBLA National Leadership Virtual Competition

Maryland State Board of Education Hosts Virtual Board Meetings on September 21 and September 22

MSDE DORS Partners with Sephora In New Training Program to Provide Career Opportunities to Individuals with Disabilities

Finalists Named for 2020 – 2021 Maryland Teacher of the Year

Maryland State Department of Education Announces Additional COVID-19 Relief Grants for Maryland Schools and Universities

Maryland State Board of Education Hosts Special Meeting Virtually On Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Clarence Crawford Elected President of the Maryland State Board of Education

Maryland Child Care Moves Forward as Part of State’s Overall Stage 2 Recovery

New Guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals

Maryland Education Moves Forward as Part of State’s Overall Stage 2 Recovery

From State Superintendent Salmon: Special Message to the Education Community

Maryland State Department of Education Develops New Child Care Recovery Plan; Essential Personnel Child Care Expanded In Immediate Transition Phase

Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rumor Control Page Launches

Additional News Releases >>

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