BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ)– For the first time ever, students in central Maryland are starting the year online.
There will be no bells ringing and no lockers slamming as the new school year begins in Baltimore City as well as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties.
— Baltimore City Public Schools (@BaltCitySchools) September 8, 2020
On average, students will get three-and-a-half hours of online learning instruction per-day.
In March, Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order, closing schools to in-person learning because of the high numbers of COVID-19 infections.
However, last month, he authorized schools to open in person, citing improving COVID-19 metrics.
As some students logged on Tuesday morning, however, they were met with technical difficulties.
The Schoology platform in Frederick County was giving some students problems, with Frederick County Public Schools working on the problem Tuesday afternoon.
In Howard County, their public school system confirmed while there were no outages, their authentication system did experience heavy load Tuesday morning, causing users to experience slow login times, which may have caused issues for students.
“The HCPSS authentication system experienced heavy load this morning causing users to experience slow login times, which may have caused some access issues for students, however, our technology department has confirmed that there were no system outages. Many families also needed direct support to reset passwords or connect their devices to the internet.
Important to note that students who were unable to login will not be marked absent, and that any time they experience technical difficulties they should let their teacher know.
Since today was the first day of school, we anticipated providing this support to families and our school and central office staff were prepared to assist families as issues came up.”
Like most districts across the state, Baltimore City opted to begin their school year virtually. City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises, logged on to check out a few classes during the first day.
“Those teachers that I got to see, really had prepared for young people in ways they have never been asked to before,” she said.
Santelises said, while she considers the first day a success, they did see a lot of traffic on their helpline.
“Because we still have families who needed and still need support with passwords,” she said.
Students like Giodany Rodriguez, an 8th grader in Baltimore City, said she’s still getting used to the new normal.
“It’s been a little bit weird, a little different, mostly because every day we’ve been in school and are using paper and pencil, now we just have to use a computer and technology,” Rodriguez said.
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