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ACPS will Still Open Fully Virtual on September 8th

August 28th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

On August 4, 2020, the Interim Superintendent, Mr. Jeff Blank, recommended a fully virtual learning model to begin the 2020-2021 school year, which the Board of Education unanimously approved. ACPS knows that returning to school with in-person options is important for the development and well-being of the students, but also recognizes our obligation to pursue reopening in a manner that is safe for students, teachers, and staff.

On August 27, 2020, the state of Maryland issued a new document entitled “COVID-19 Guidance for Maryland Schools”.  It is noted in this document that the guidance is provided to assist schools to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance states:


            School systems and nonpublic schools are encouraged to open for in-person learning where it is safe to do so. These schools are expected to follow applicable guidelines from the Maryland Department of Health, local health department, and the CDC for safe reopening of in-person instruction. Each local school system and nonpublic school, in consultation with the local health department, should review the school reopening metrics to make reopening decisions and to adjust in-person educational offerings, as necessary, when the metrics indicate an increased level of risk.


Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, stated during yesterday’s press conference, “Today, in light of those improving numbers (COVID numbers within the state) and with these specific metrics provided by the Department of Health, I am strongly encouraging local school systems to re-evaluate 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.”  

ACPS has always shared a commitment to providing a hybrid or traditional schooling model when it is deemed a safe and feasible option for our school communities. With the new guidelines provided August 27, 2020, ACPS will still open fully virtual on September 8, 2020, for student learning while continuing preparations in accordance with our submitted plan that allows for small cohorts/groups of students to receive some in-school learning.  These small groups could include students with disabilities, early childhood and elementary school students, at-risk students who need additional support through Tiered instruction, and CCTE students who need hands-on instruction within their CTE skill/technical area.  Utilizing a gradual, phased-in approach, which may not include all groups at the same time, rather than returning students through the hybrid model, will allow the school system to monitor and mitigate challenges directly and in the future.

The ACPS Recovery Plan, which addresses thirteen areas required by the MSDE, is posted on the ACPS website,, and will be revised and updated as needed going forward.

2 Responses to “ACPS will Still Open Fully Virtual on September 8th”

  1. August 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm, Vic P. said:

    The people of Allegany County owe Acting ACPS Superintendent Jeff Blank a debt of gratitude for his leadership and advocacy that will keep our students safe. I have seen grandparents raising children who would likely become infected with COVID. The confluence of the worst pandemic in over a century and a dangerous flu season that is coming compel us to mitigate even further. We must avoid allowing our citizens who if they don’t expire on a ventilator will suffer with the life long effects of a loss of taste and smell senses, lethargy, and “brain fog”. Our ACPS teachers have been and will continue to give our kids everything possible while focusing on safety first.


  2. August 28, 2020 at 6:23 pm, mac said:

    Congratulations to the ACPS for using common sense and a sense of responsibility in providing virtual schooling in the County.
    They are more in touch with reality than is Gov.Hogan who is willing to throw all of our children in harms way.


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