HCPS reinstates in-person learning beginning in March

Ben Sersen, REPORTER

     Superintendent Sean Bulson took to the Harford County Public School’s website to announce the return of hybrid learning starting March 1 for elementary schools and PreK as well as starting March 15 for middle and high schools.

     Students in programs such as STRIVE, life skills, and other specialized programs as well as students enrolled in the John Archer School will be eligible for return up to four days a week starting March 1.

     According to the plan of action sent out by HCPS, the goal is set at having elementary students back in the building for in-person learning by the beginning of April while no plan has been set for middle or high schools. This is subject to change in accordance to announcements released by the Board of Education as well as Superintendent Bulson.

    During a Board of Education meeting, members of the community, including parents who have been actively pushing to open Harford County via a Facebook page known as “Reopen Harford County,” blasted the plan of hybrid learning one day a week stating that it was the “bare minimum” that HCPS could have offered. 

     While parents of the meeting were shown to be in favor of reopening the schools, the students themselves seem to feel the same way, Sophomore Scott Sowards claimed his reason to return to school was because “…I have no wifi and my hotspot doesn’t work.” Sophomore Riley Baur claims he wants to return as a means of “getting out of the house.”

     Not all students feel this way, such as senior Jack Depriest claiming “We went back to school once with limited capacity. It backfired and cases spiked.”   He added that it “happen[ed] once, it will happen again.” Junior Lahela Thomas claimed she has “more time to sleep, do[es]n’t need to get ready, [and] won’t get the corona.”

     Whatever reason students may have to return or stay home, the decision to return is nearly split.  In a Instagram poll of nearly 175 people recently done by Cry of the Hawk, 53 percent of students claim they would like to return to school while 47 percent would rather do school virtually than go back during the once-a-week hybrid learning.

        The number of cases per week has been on a steady decline according to Maryland.gov since it’s peak in mid January. With students returning in March, the Center of Disease Control for Maryland claims “Our state is taking decisive action to address Covid-19. The Hogan Administration’s highest priority is keeping Marylanders safe.”