City Schools has developed health and safety procedures to keep both students and staff members at its buildings safe during the COVID-19 pandemic - Standard Operating Procedures (updated 8/10).
These procedures are evolving due to changes in health guidance - check back regularly for updates. Scroll to learn more about efforts to keep students, families, and staff safe.
Baltimore City Public Schools is excited about fully reopening to all students in all grades, every day starting in August for the coming school year. Most students will return to their classrooms, with a limited number of students eligible to participate in our virtual learning program.
Recent updates to the COVID-19 guidelines for schools from the CDC, combined with state and local expertise have helped us to refine our health and safety protocols.
Key protocols to help keep our schools safe places to work and learn this fall include:
Baltimore City Public Schools coordinates with the Baltimore City Health Department and a cadre of health experts when making decisions that impact the health and safety of students, staff, and families. The committee is comprised of the following experts:
How will physical distancing be maintained throughout the day?
Physical distancing will be maximized to the extent possible while allowing all students to return for in-person learning. Various classroom layouts, including layouts with students facing each other, can be used to support an engaging classroom experience. Additionally, the use of face coverings, ventilation, and our other preventive measures work together with physical distancing to provide additional protection.
Will PPE be supplied for students?
An initial allocation of reusable cloth face coverings will be provided for students and a backup supply of disposable masks is also available at schools.
Will students and staff have access to regular COVID-19 testing to mitigate transmission risk?
Regular COVID testing will continue this fall to help identify potentially infected people so that steps can be taken to prevent further transmission. Additionally, on-site COVID testing will be available for students who have symptoms of a COVID-like illness.
When will testing begin?
Weekly COVID testing will begin the week of September 13, 2021.
What if a student or teacher exhibits COVID-like symptoms or tests positive?
If a student presents with symptoms of a COVID-19 like illness during the day, they will be isolated in the Wellness Room. If it is determined that a student has a COVID-19 like illness by the school nurse, the parents/guardians will be called to pick up their child. The nurse will administer an individualized COVID-19 test for the child and provide next steps while test results are pending.
If a staff member presents with any COVID-19 like symptoms, they should notify their direct supervisor or administrator. That staff member should be directed to go home and get tested for COVID-19.
If a student or staff member tests positive, the school community will be notified, the individual will be advised to isolate, and their close contacts will be advised to quarantine.
If a student has to stay home, what strategies are in place to support remote learning?
Schools will support continuity of learning for students who need to quarantine. This support will include a combination of offline learning assignments, asynchronous learning assignments, and synchronous learning. Families will work directly with their schools to understand how and when the continuity of learning will occur for their child(ren) during quarantine. Students will be equipped with technology to access their online learning.
What is the plan for regularly disinfecting surfaces throughout the day?
CDC cleaning and disinfecting guidelines will be followed. Frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, phones, light switches, faucets, toilets, urinals, fixtures, dispensers, handrails, cafeteria and restroom walls, and other surfaces and objects that students and staff frequently touch will be cleaned, and disinfected daily, at least twice a day. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on the level of use.
How will lunch be handled?
Meals will be served by the cafeteria. The distance between students will be maximized to the extent possible while accommodating all students. Air scrubbers have been installed in cafeterias to provide air filtration. For additional information about mealtime protocols, please speak with your child’s school.
What is the cleaning protocol for transportation vehicles?
Yellow buses and taxis are disinfected at the end of the day. Frequently touched services are cleaned between each school drop-off.
Will there be physical distancing on yellow buses, cabs and MTA?
Yellow buses: physical distancing will be maximized fully when practicable on a yellow bus
Taxi: a maximum of two students may ride. Students from different households may share a ride.
MTA: riders are to spread out on the vehicle when possible. Standing on buses is NOT permitted.