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School Superintendent Blank discusses unique challenges this fall

July 31st, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Public schools in the nation's capital will open with full-time computer distance learning, as officials have abandoned their initial plans to use a combination of distance and in-person instruction. That announcement from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday. Meanwhile most of Maryland’s  local school systems, including Garrett County, have announced back to school plans ahead of the August 14th deadline. In Allegany County,  surveys were sent to parents this week and the school board will meet in closed session Sunday to discuss that plan. The details are expected to be released to the public at the August 11th board meeting. Allegany County Superintendent Jeff Blank told WCBC News that every school system in the state is facing an unprecedented challenge this fall. The ultimate goal is to provide the best possible learning experience for students- while at the same time creating a safe working environment for teachers and staff.  Blank notes that there is no “playbook” per se for conducting school during a national pandemic…

14 Responses to “School Superintendent Blank discusses unique challenges this fall”

  1. July 31, 2020 at 6:33 am, Beth said:

    There is no way I will allow my children to return to school. They aren’t able to participate in any activities the way the normally do. They understand it isn’t safe right now. How would school be any different? I’m not giving them mixed information. At this house we stick to facts. We don’t change our opinions regarding safety based on votes or government funding. My children will not be compromised.


    • July 31, 2020 at 6:40 am, mac said:

      > Good for you and your family. It’s always best to err on the side of caution.


  2. July 31, 2020 at 6:55 am, Bob said:

    This is all academic as most folks are doomed regardless.


  3. July 31, 2020 at 7:14 am, Ron said:

    The longer you can hold out the better. Wait for the vaccine.


    • July 31, 2020 at 9:48 am, Jay said:

      The vaccine is not a panacea. It will not be close to 100% effective and there are millions of people who will not take it.


  4. July 31, 2020 at 7:34 am, Jimmy Joe said:

    Guess more packets. Where I live no cell reception and with the phones outdated no high speed internet. My kids are falling behind as both parents work instead of protesting and relay on family to watch the kids while we both work. Since there probably won’t be school again , with the saved money , maybe the teachers could watch my kids?


    • July 31, 2020 at 9:53 am, Jay said:

      Jimmy Joe, this has nothing to do with the teachers. We are all victims of our federal government’s inept preparation and response to the pandemic. The US has 4% of the world’s population yet we have about 25% of the infections and 25% of the deaths. Yesterday we had about 1400 people die from the virus. Spain, Germany, Belgium, S. Korea and many other countries are in single digits. There’s a reason for that.


      • July 31, 2020 at 2:10 pm, Bob said:

        > Much of the answer is that the U.S. is full of grossly obese diabetic people.


  5. July 31, 2020 at 7:46 am, Welchy said:

    Good, just have them repeat the 4th grade next year


  6. July 31, 2020 at 9:04 am, Patrick said:

    Politicians and media love to instill fear in us as it makes us more subservient. Senior citizen here who moved from Cumberland to Pittsburgh (Allegheny Co. PA) 4 years ago.

    Allegheny Co. PA Deaths from COVID. About 1,200.000 people in the county:

    Age 0-19 = zero, nada, zilch
    Age 20-49 = 4
    Age 50-59 = 10
    Age 60-69 = 27
    Age 70+ = 194

    94% of deaths are age 60+

    Children are more likely to die from regular flu. Teenagers more likely to die from suicide and drug overdoses.

    1. Protect older teachers (age 50+?) or those with co-morbidities with TV teaching (I taught at ACM that way)
    2. Socially distance, masks, etc. as much as possible in the classroom

    You are emotionally, socially, developmentally, and educationally killing your own children by keeping them out of school when other risks are more dangerous.


  7. July 31, 2020 at 9:14 am, mac said:

    ‘You are emotionally, socially, developmentally, and educationally killing your own children’

    That’s better than literally, actually and permanently killing them.


  8. July 31, 2020 at 9:43 am, Bob said:

    Why is no one remembering all the information showing that kids, even while not exhibiting symptoms, still become carriers back to Mom and Dad and Grandparents? The kids may be safer from death, but they can carry back to thousands of homes and create exponential issues for other age groups.


    • July 31, 2020 at 10:36 am, Patrick said:

      Studies in foreign countries show infrequent transfer from children to adults.

      I’m a grandfather and it hurts, but am staying away from my grandchildren. People over 60 or so should be sheltering, for their own safety. I am and it ain’t fun!

      As for “killing” the children. The numbers, the facts, show that rarely happens with Covid. But don’t let facts get in the way.

      Worried about killing your children? Don’t let them on a bicycle, in a car, go swimming, et. cetera. Higher chance of death.


      • July 31, 2020 at 11:54 am, Jay said:

        The statistics on dying are one thing. But, do you want your grandchildren to get sick and potentially affect others? Like an elderly teacher, school administrator, parent, or grandparent?
        There’s only one way to do it. Everyone entering a school building must be tested every day or every other day and results must be available in 10-15 minutes. Positive results must be followed up with contact tracing. Pro athletes and the White House staff are doing it. This is the greatest country in the world. Why can’t we do this for our most valuable resource?


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