Charles County’s board of education has voted to delay the second phase of its plan to return students to classrooms until teachers are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The second phase will now begin March 22, WTOP reported. Students scheduled to return at that time include special-needs children, English language learners, career and technical students and children of staffers.
Schools Superintendent Kim Hill, who had pushed for the second phase to begin on March 1 and wants teachers to return later this month, said students are the ones affected the most by distance learning.
“We are tasked with making decisions that are best for children,” Hill told the board during a meeting Tuesday night, WTOP reported. “What I hear is, you all are making decisions that are best for adults.”
But board member Tajala Battle-Lockhart, an opponent of in-person instruction this academic year, disagreed.
“Normally, this is all about the students, but we’re talking about lives and we don’t exempt teachers and staff lives’ from this process,” Battle-Lockart said, WTOP reported.
As of Wednesday, Charles County has reported 8,247 coronavirus cases since the outset of the pandemic, including 148 virus-related deaths, according to state health department statistics. So far, roughly 10,200 residents, or about 6.3% of the county population, has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.