School districts across the DMV put brakes on in-person learning return

Local schools are largely putting the brakes on plans for in-person learning.

One of the latest districts in our area to make the decision to stay in distance learning is Arlington County. Officials say they just can't expand their in-person options when coronavirus cases are rising.

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In a virtual school board meeting Thursday, parents with starkly different views sounded off on the Arlington County Schools decision.

Ultimately, the board will stick with its plan to revisit the phased return to buildings for elementary students in January.

Right now, several hundred students with special needs are back but that's it.

READ MORE: Anne Arundel County schools delay return to ‘hybrid’ reopening plan

On Wednesday, the Board of Education in Anne Arundel County voted to delay a return to so-called “hybrid” education until February citing an uptick in COVID-19 metrics.

They’d initially planned on returning kids to the classroom on Nov. 16 in staggered sessions – with some attending on Monday/Tuesday and others on Thursday/Friday.

Students whose families wanted them to remain at home, were permitted that option.

Then, Charles County announced a similar plan to hit pause on its in-person learning plans until at least after January 1.

READ MORE: DC schools abandon plans to begin in-person learning on November 9

D.C. did the same earlier this week – canceling a November 9 in-person return, but citing staffing problems largely because of disagreement between the teacher's union and the chancellor on safety procedures.

Meanwhile, the University of Maryland announced Thursday that the school has decided to transition courses entirely to online instruction, with very few exceptions, following the Thanksgiving break due to rising coronavirus cases nationwide and in the state of Maryland. 

"Students traveling home for Thanksgiving should remain home. #COVID19 testing will be available the week prior to the holiday. Students who choose to remain in residence halls may stay for the rest of the semester. Find info on changes to campus services:," UMD tweeted.