State Board Superintendent Announcement

Message from the State Board of Education
March 31, 2020

Dr. Karen B. Salmon State Superintendent of SchoolsIn light of the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, the Maryland Board of Education has asked Dr. Salmon to accept a new contract which will continue her service through June 30, 2021. We are grateful that Dr. Salmon has agreed to continue serving Maryland’s Students during this National crisis.

Additionally, with the unprecedented business conditions Nationwide, the Board is ending the search for a new Superintendent. A decision for a date to renew the search will be made as the Board receives additional information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clarification of Dr. Salmon’s

March 25, 2020 Child Care Message


All Child Care Providers to be Closed by the end of the day Friday, March 27th Except Those Serving Essential Personnel

Beginning at the end of the day on Friday, March 27, 2020, all child care programs are to be closed.

During this State of Emergency, child care programs have been established by the State to serve only designated essential personnel.

These programs are at no cost to designated essential personnel. Eligible programs may be found on the MSDE website at earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org or by using thec, a telephone service that is available by phone Monday - Friday at 877-261-0060 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

Please see the list of designated essential personnel identified in the Governor’s March 25, 2020 Executive Order.

The children of essential personnel attending the State-funded child care programs will be kept at an appropriate distance from each other with ratios of one teacher to nine children and smaller class sizes for younger children.  

Parents/guardians are strongly urged to keep children at home as the first and best option to protect them from the virus; it should be noted in the Governor's March 13, 2020 Executive Order, licensing regulations were relaxed to allow for Family, Friend and Neighbor care for five or fewer students.

If closed licensed child care programs are willing to provide child care to children of essential personnel, they may reopen beginning March 30, 2020, with the following requirements:
  • Programs must apply with their Regional Licensing Specialists to be approved before they begin serving eligible families.
  • These programs may only reopen after a thorough cleaning has been conducted.
  • They must only serve the children of essential personnel.

Parents and caregivers of essential personnel may call one of the following numbers for additional information:
410-767-0335
410-767-0583
410-767-7798
410-767-7805
410-767-1664

Child care providers with questions can contact their Regional Licensing Specialist.

Update on School Closure

After lengthy discussions with health experts from around the State, I have made the decision along with the State Board of Education to extend the closure of all public schools in Maryland for an additional four weeks through April 24, 2020.

We do not make this decision lightly. However, with the challenges facing our State and our country, we have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our school communities and the community at-large.

I am working in concert with all local school system superintendents, including multiple calls per week, in order to provide the continuity of learning to all of our students in every jurisdiction across the State of Maryland during this time.

We are already working very closely with every school system to address issues affecting their ability to provide educational services to all of their students. It should also be noted that we will be diligent in providing educational services to our students with disabilities.

Local superintendents have provided me with their plans for the continuity of learning during the additional closure period. My staff at the Maryland State Department of Education has been reviewing the plans and determining what supports and resources the State can provide where needed.

More information will be available in the coming days as we work collaboratively on a statewide plan that maintains equitable standards and expectations for students. Local school systems will be communicating with their individual school communities as they move forward with implementing their plans.

We plan to resume the continuity of learning next week, and we will be working closely with local superintendents, school administrators, and our teachers to activate that plan.

While it is too early to say when schools will reopen, we will continue to reassess the situation as we move forward and see where we are in a few weeks time.
Additionally, while child care and day care facilities throughout the State may remain open at this time, our urgent focus is ensuring there are child care options for the children of essential personnel.

We understand that those in the workforce providing essential services, such as those in our hospital and health care facilities and food distribution sites, may need child care provided to continue in their roles. However, if another parent or guardian is able to stay home with your children you should do that.

For those essential personnel that are unable to provide care, we have worked diligently in the past week to identify locations across Maryland that will provide child care.
 
At this juncture, we have identified space for more than 1,200 school-aged children (ages 4-12) of essential personnel at various locations throughout Maryland in spaces such as YMCAs, the Maryland School for the Blind, public libraries, Parks and Recreation facilities, and Boys and Girls clubs. We are hoping to increase this capacity to more than 2,500 spaces in the coming days.

Essential personnel working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic who require child care are immediately able to find these services through a free referral hotline called LOCATE. The number to reach this referral service is 1-877-261-0060. We will provide additional guidance and information immediately following today’s press conference.

I am so grateful to our educators and child care providers across the State for their commitment to our children and their school communities.

I also want to recognize the incredible dedication and commitment that our food services staff and volunteers have exhibited as they have continued to serve and transport meals to children at the 500+ food distribution sites we have set up across Maryland. Just as a reminder, for any family looking for a location to pick up meals for a student, please visit mdsummermeals.org for a list of locations in your area.

I appreciate everyone’s cooperation during this difficult time, and I am looking forward to working with our local superintendents and school leaders in the coming days as we move forward.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID - 19) Update


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 MSDE 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.

For additional updated information and guidance from the Maryland Department of Health, please visit the following links:


Three Easy Steps to Finding Child Care

(FOR ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL ONLY)

  1. Click Here to find both School-Age and licenced child care to see if there is a program near your home or work and then contact the provider directly.
  2.  If you don’t see a child care provider that meets your needs, call the trained LOCATE: Child Care Referral Specialists to help you select the best child care option for your family at (Toll-Free) 877-261-0060.
  3. Download these 4 forms, complete and take to the provider of your choice.

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