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State Superintendent discusses lessons learned during the pandemic

June 25th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Maryland State Superintendent Karen Salmon is retiring from her position by the end of June, but she spoke with WBAL Friday morning to discuss her journey, especially during the past year with a global pandemic.

The pandemic changed a lot of things everywhere, but especially in schools for all students. Salmon shared some of her reflections.

“Hindsight is always 2020,” Salmon said. “I think what we got right is we immediately got the kids fed and burnished throughout the pandemic. We put 90 million into making sure all of our essential workers had free childcare during the most critical times. We really supported the school systems as much as possible… we worked really hard to make sure everybody had a guide to the recovery.”

To the parent that took their children out of public schools, Salmon said she understands and would have done the same, but: “We’re really hoping folks come back to public school. We think that families will come back because they really wanted their kids back in school.”

Salmon made sure to reiterate that the decision of which schools opened during the pandemic fell upon the local jurisdictions.

“We set the educational goals and strategies that schools must include in their curriculums … local school systems are elected by their local school board,” Salmon said.

Salmon also announced plans of putting together six regional mental health crisis centers across Maryland to provide mental health support to students who have suffered from the pressure of losing loved ones, not being in school, and more from the pandemic for when they return to school in September