December 23, 2021
For Immediate Release
Announcements and Press Releases
UPDATED: January 3, 2022
Baltimore City Public Schools is looking forward to students and staff returning the first week of January 2022. However, we are extending winter break to Monday and Tuesday (January 3-4) of that week to offer testing opportunities for employees and high school students.
The Baltimore City Health Department has recommended that City Schools continue with its ongoing health and safety steps listed below. City Schools leaders meet weekly with the Health Department to ensure our response is aligned with the community-wide effort.
COMPLETE AND SEND OUR FILLABLE CONSENT FORM
Given the current surge, we encourage all students to participate in our COVID-19 testing program, even if they are vaccinated. All students must submit a signed consent form.
Download the FILLABLE document in English or Spanish, or pick up a copy from your school. Complete the sections that require personal information and save the document to your computer. The form must be signed and submitted to the student's school by Thursday, January 6. If you are not able to print the form, please contact your school and ask how you can email it to them.
WE WILL EXTEND WINTER BREAK ON JANUARY 3-5 FOR STAFF COVID-19 TESTING
- Winter Break for students is extended through Wednesday, January 5. School staff will report for the following testing opportunities.
- High Schools: Testing will be available to all staff at their schools on January 4, with most results available on Wednesday. Schools will communicate with students and families about the availability of testing at your school on January 5, before students return for classes. In addition, regular testing will resume on Thursday, January 6, when students return to school.
- Elementary/middle schools: Rapid tests will be available to all staff on Tuesday, January 4 at their school. Test results will be available within 15 minutes. Pooled testing for students will resume on Thursday, January 6. City Schools will test as many students as possible on January 5-6. This step will allow us to get more results sooner and take steps to keep everyone safe.
- If your student tests positive, they will be required to quarantine for 10 days per City Schools health and safety procedures.
ALL STUDENTS WILL RETURN ON JANUARY 6
- All students will return on Thursday. The two missed learning days will be made up in June.
WEEKLY TESTING RESUMES AT ALL SCHOOLS
City Schools will resume weekly pooled testing at K-8 schools and individual PCR testing at all stand-alone middle schools and high schools when schools reopen on January 6.
VACCINATIONS ARE ENCOURAGED
We strongly encourage students to have their students vaccinated and receive the booster shot.
PLANNING FOR ADDITIONAL BOOSTER SHOT CLINICS
City Schools will coordinate with the Baltimore City Health Department and community partners to potentially host additional opportunities for students and staff to receive the COVID-19 booster shot. And as always, we encourage all unvaccinated persons to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
As always, we offer a variety of insight and resources into our Health and Safety Procedures and COVID-19 testing program. Visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/safety-procedures.
ONGOING PREVENTION STEPS
City Schools is taking the following steps to keep students and staff safe:
- Requiring masks or face coverings in all buildings
- Weekly proactive screening and testing of students and school staff (see below)
- Daily, on-site access to testing for individuals that have symptoms
- Upgraded air filters or air purification devices in all buildings
- Daily cleaning procedures using chemicals that sanitize against COVID-19
- Staff members are required to be vaccinated unless they receive an approved exemption
- Coordinating weekly with the Health Department on strategy and advice
- Two days of testing for school staff and high school students upon their return from Winter Break