County Schools Chief Cancels Large-Scale Events, Most Field Trips Amid Growing Concerns Related to Coronavirus/COVID-19
Acting on the advice of county Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, Superintendent George Arlotto today announced the immediate cancellation of all school-system related large-scale public events and all school field trips that are not part of the core mission of school system instruction.
Dr. Kalyanaraman’s recommendation came after a woman visiting Anne Arundel County from outside of the state was diagnosed with coronavirus, or COVID-19. The woman does not have any known ties to Anne Arundel County Public Schools.
Dr. Kalynaraman did not recommend any school closures, and schools will continue to operate on normal schedules.
“This continues to be a rapidly changing situation and I am incredibly grateful for the collaboration of the County Executive and his team – especially the county Department of Health – and the city of Annapolis,” said Dr. Arlotto, who took part in a meeting of leaders from Anne Arundel County and the city this afternoon. “We remain committed to operating our school system as normally as possible, but we must be prudent and cautious in that approach.”
Spring athletic contests will be allowed to continue, though games, matches, and meets will take place without spectators. Contests that take place in high school stadiums are livestreamed through the National Federation of High Schools and can be viewed here.
Until further notice, the following are canceled as a result of Dr. Arlotto’s announcement:
- Field trips that are not part of core mission of school system instruction. School system administrators are examining scheduled field trips now and will notify schools of the status of those trips by the end of the week.
- Grandparents Day and similar events that involve the public visiting schools.
- School assemblies in which large numbers of students congregate and hear from speakers and presenters from outside the school or school system.
- School performances such as plays, musicals, and concerts unless they take place without public audiences.
- Awards events with public audiences such as the Regional Science and Engineering Expo scheduled for March 12 and the Excellence in Education Awards scheduled for April 16. Plans for alternate ways to present those awards will be announced as they are formulated.
No decisions have been made on high school proms or graduations, or elementary and middle school promotional exercises.
Visitors to schools should remain mindful of and be prepared to answer questions from school staff about recent travel.
Earlier this week, Dr. Arlotto announced the cancellation of all out-of-state and out-of-country field trips and business-related staff travel.
Dr. Arlotto and school system staff remain in daily communication with the Anne Arundel County Department of Health to receive guidance and advice on issues related to COVID-19. Other adjustments to school system operations will be announced as they are determined.
For more information school system issues related to COVID-19, visit www.aacps.org/coronavirus.