Coronavirus Latest: Nearly $425K In Federal Funding Will Be Dedicated To COVID-19 Research at UMD Baltimore

The Baltimore delegation announced nearly $425,000 is being dedicated to federal funding for COVID-19 research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes and Kweisi Mfume (D-Md) said the funding will provide “crucial support” in the effort to discover new breakthroughs to help with the fight against the virus. (WJZ)

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Anne Arundel County Schools To Begin Year Virtually

Anne Arundel County Public Schools is the latest school district to announce that school buildings will not open in the fall. Students will make use of virtual learning for the entire first semester under a plan Superintendent George Arlotto is set to discuss with the school board at a public meeting on Wednesday. Arlotto said the decision was made in consultation with county Health Officer Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, school system employees and his own counterparts. He also reviewed results of recent surveys of families and employees. (WBAL)

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5 takeaways from Harford schools’ town hall on virtual learning, including keeping schedules close to normal

Although Harford County Public Schools are set to be fully virtual when the next school year starts in September, HCPS leaders as well as teachers and administrators are working to make an average day resemble in-person schooling as much as possible — with multiple details that still need to be finalized. “Our goal is to connect with kids every day and to connect just like they would in a traditional in-person experience,” Michael O’Brien, executive director of secondary school instruction and performance, said during a online town hall meeting Thursday evening. (Balt Sun)

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Virtual art camp helps CCPS students learn coping skills, ease stress

Carroll County Public Schools is midway through hosting a five-week online “camp” for students called Art for Positive Power, in which art teachers and counselors create activities to teach students about dealing with stress and coping skills. Many of the middle-schoolers participating were offered a spot at the camp because they have faced loss or other traumatic events. Pupil Personnel Workers and other school staff who know their students well helped to recommend them. (Carr Co Times)

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The university workers tasked with getting Maryland’s campuses ready to reopen fear for students’ return in the fall

Five days a week, Relford Matthews reports to dormitories at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to paint, fill holes in the walls and install Plexiglass dividers meant to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Lots of the time, Matthews works by himself. So, for the moment, the 64-year-old maintenance worker feels safe at his job. (Balt Sun)

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Howard County public school to hold online classes until January

A public school system in Maryland has announced all classes for students will be held online until January 2021 due to coronavirus safety concerns. The Howard County Public Schools board approved the measure in a 6-1 vote Thursday, news outlets reported. The vote came after school officials conducted a survey among parents, students and staff on how to reopen the schools. (Times-News)

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Student internet access pilot making modest progress – amid massive need

A pilot project expanding four schools’ WiFi networks into surrounding neighborhoods is seeing positive initial results, a nonprofit internet service provider says. Project Waves has connected 43 households to free internet using mesh networks through its partnership with the Baltimore City Public School System, founder Adam Bouhmad reports. Technical installation is complete at two schools and is underway at two others. (Balt Brew)

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U.Md. makes SAT, ACT scores optional for 2021 admissions

SAT and ACT scores will be optional for the spring and fall 2021 admissions process, the University of Maryland announced Friday. “While these tests have proven to be valuable components of our holistic application review, we are committed to ensuring that students who have already been negatively impacted by COVID-19 are not further disadvantaged,” the university’s Office of Enrollment Management said in a release. (WTOP)

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