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Health and Safety Procedures

Keeping students, staff, and school communities safe during the COVID pandemic

City Schools is working to keep school communities safe so students can continue to learn. Here you can find information about the steps we’re taking during the COVID pandemic and what’s happening now in our schools.

As guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local health agencies changes with the pandemic, we also may change procedures to reflect the situation in our city and neighborhoods. Check back here often for the latest updates.

Still need more information or want to share a concern with us? Email healthandsafety@bcps.k12.md.us.

View the dashboard

COVID Dashboard

Tracking cases in our schools during the 2021-22 school year

Find alerts and announcements

Latest News

Updates about virtual learning, changes in procedures, and more

View FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

More answers you need to know

Learn more about testing

In-School Testing

Diagnosing, screening, and test-to-stay as of January 2022

Get the latest about when to stay home

Quarantine and Isolation

Fewer days at home for asymptomatic and mild cases and close contacts

Learn more about air quality

Air Quality and Ventilation

Steps taken to filter out viruses, school by school

Procedures for the 2021-22 School Year

Prior to the 2021-22 school year, the (CDC) updated guidelines for opening schools for in-person learning, based on current understanding of COVID and the evolving pandemic. Working with state and local agencies, partners, and experts, City Schools developed a plan and procedures that have allowed us to welcome students and staff back to classrooms. These are outlined in detail in our COVID Health and Safety Guide: Standard Operating Procedures, Guidelines, and Best Practices.

Download the guide >

Here is a summary of some of the key procedures now in place.

  • Vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community. City Schools has partnered with the Baltimore City Health Department to provide vaccination clinics at schools. Please check the schedule regularly for new dates and locations.
  • In-school testing helps identify potentially infected people so that steps can be taken to prevent spread of the virus. Also, beginning in January 2022, eligible students and staff can get rapid tests that may eliminate the need to miss days at school.
    • Note that unvaccinated students are required to be tested weekly, either in school at no cost or by a third-party medical provider by parent/guardian arrangement and potential expense. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated students are strongly encouraged to participate in free in-school testing but can do so only if their parent/guardian agrees on the consent form (English or Spanish).
  • Everyone entering a City Schools building is reminded to monitor symptoms and not to enter if they are experiencing symptoms.
  • Quarantining and isolation are now reduced in many cases to five days for those diagnosed with COVID and for unvaccinated students who are close contacts of someone who has COVID.
  • Physical distancing will be maximized to the extent possible while allowing students to return for in-person learning. 
  • In-person events and meetings with families can take place with participants physically distanced and/or capacity of large gathering spaces limited to 50%.
  • Ventilation has been improved with high-quality filters and air purifiers to reduce the spread of viruses in the air.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting happen daily, with products designed to eliminate viruses. 
  • Personal hygiene will continue to be stressed, including teaching students about proper handwashing, use of tissues, covering sneezes and coughs, etc.

Health Advisory Committee

City Schools coordinates with the Baltimore City Health Department and the following health experts when making decisions that impact the health and safety of students, staff, and families. 

  • Dr. Andrea Berry, University of Maryland School of Medicine 
  • Dr. Lorece Edwards, Morgan State University
  • Drs. Megan Collins, Kate Connor, Gigi Kwik Gronvall, Sara Johns, Beth Marshall, and Amanda Neitzel, Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr. Courtney Pate, Director, COVID Testing, Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Mary Grace White, Director, Acute Communicable Diseases, Baltimore City Department of Health