Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Darryl L. Williams and Chief of School Climate and Safety Dr. Michael J. Zarchin reserved course and stated they will not open four specialized schools in November. Battle Monument in Dundalk, Maiden Choice, Ridge Ruxton, and White Oak in Parkville were set to open in the fall. Williams released the following statement in response to rising COVID-19 infections in Baltimore County:
“From day one, BCPS has prioritized the health and safety of staff and students. The purpose of this communication is to provide an update on current BCPS COVID-19 School Opening Scores. In accordance with guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and Maryland Department of Health, BCPS staff will implement its reopening plan when the county positivity rate is 5 percent or lower and the number of cases per 100,000 residents is below 15.
“As of Nov. 3, the Baltimore County daily positivity rate is 4.6 percent and the number of cases per 100,000 residents is greater than 18. These numbers have steadily increased in the last week. As of Nov. 3, our cumulative number of cases per 100,000 (14 days total) is greater than 200. Our percent change in new cases per 100,000 (previous 7 days) is more than 10 percent.
“Therefore, we are unable to proceed with reopening our four public separate day schools (Battle Monument, Maiden Choice, Ridge Ruxton, and White Oak) as scheduled on Nov. 9 for staff and Nov. 16 for students. We will proceed with a safe reopening for students two weeks after we meet the established parameters. The return of school-based staff to school buildings is also being put on hold until further notice.
“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, we will monitor our metrics on a daily basis in coordination with the Baltimore County Department of Health and make adjustments as necessary, always keeping health and safety foremost in our minds. Updates on our metrics will be provided every Friday.”