Hundreds of thousands return to classes in DC, Md. and Va.


Hundreds of thousands of students in the area start a new school year Monday. Here’s some of what to expect.

On Monday, hundreds of thousands of public school students in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. begin a new year.

Who is returning

In Maryland, students will return to classes in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Howard, Charles and Baltimore counties, as well as in Baltimore City.

In Virginia, students in Arlington and Falls Church return to school. And D.C. students are also going back to classes.

Students in Anne Arundel and Calvert counties will return to school Tuesday. Other school systems will go back after Labor Day.

Road safety

According to the Maryland State Police, more than 600,000 Maryland students ride buses to school during the year. Drivers are urged to watch for children walking to school and those getting on and off school buses.

In Maryland, drivers must stop at least 20 feet from the bus, regardless of which direction they are going, according to police. Don’t pass any buses until their stop signals and flashing lights are off and the bus is moving.

In Maryland, a driver could get fined $250 if he’s caught on camera violating these laws, and up to $570 and a three-point penalty if he’s stopped by a police officer.

school bus safety graphic
Here’s a look at what the law requires in Maryland. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy Maryland State Police)

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that, from 2011 to 2020, 218 school-age children died in school transportation-related crashes nationally.

The Maryland Center for School Safety urges drivers to maintain a safe distance and remember that kids may not behave as you would expect them to when they go to and from school buses.

What to expect this year


Prince George’s County Public Schools, which has roughly 131,000 students, is the only system in the D.C. metro area where students will be required to wear masks to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Teacher shortage in Maryland

A number of school systems are still working to fill teaching vacancies, including Prince George’s County, where the superintendent said last week there were 900 open positions.

In Montgomery County, the school system and the union that represents teachers agreed on a plan to fill 102 full and part-time teaching vacancies in special education. MCPS will try to entice teachers who also are certified in general education to move into special education teaching slots.

Howard County, where more than 57,300 students will return to classes, increased its daily pay rate for substitute teachers by 25%, and added a series of three-hour early dismissal days to its calendar.

Gun education for students

About 158,000 students will be back in Montgomery County classrooms. Superintendent Monifa McKnight recently said she hopes “to launch a campaign to educate our young people about gun prevalence, gun laws, and the consequences of guns,” but did not offer specifics of the plan.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.


Source link

Comments are closed.