The Calvert Education Association (CEA), the union representing the teachers and other certificated staff employed by Calvert County Public Schools issued a statement about the reopening of Calvert County Public Schools for the 2020-2021 School Year. Their statement follows:
The Calvert Education Association (CEA) supports the Maryland State Education Association, Baltimore Teachers Union and Maryland PTA’s position that teachers and students should return to school online for at least the start of the 2020-2021 school year. While we understand that there is no perfect option during the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that virtual learning is the safest option to provide instruction for students, educators and their families.
While CEA has had the opportunity to provide input on potential reopening plans, there are still many unanswered questions as to the practical implementation of any return to buildings in-person. We are committed to equitable and high-quality education for all students; however, we are not willing to put the health and safety of educators and students in potential jeopardy in order to return them to school buildings when there is an alternative option.
In a survey which received responses from over 70% of CEA members, 4 out of every 5 teachers responded that they believe the school year should start virtually. 88% of teachers do not believe it is possible to keep students socially distant. 85% say they do not believe it will be possible to enforce mask wearing. 88% of teachers say that CCPS will not be able to keep either students or staff safe from COVID-19. Further, if instruction is to happen online, 95% of teachers say they should continue to work from home because it is not safe to return to the buildings.
By starting the school year virtually, Calvert County Public Schools will have more time to fully plan the necessary protocols to return to in-person learning when it is safe for students, educators and their families. To do so without clear methods to keep people safe could put lives at risk.
CEA has the utmost faith in our members to provide the highest quality education to students during these trying times. Our educators have reaffirmed their commitment to meet the needs of the students of Calvert County. We look forward to continuing to work with the Board of Education and Superintendent Curry to to ensure that educators can meet the needs of their students.