The presidents of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, Secretaries and Assistants Association of Anne Arundel County, Association of Educational Leaders, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 1693, and the Anne Arundel County Council of PTAs release the following statement about student safety in the coming school year ahead of the September 1 Board of Education meeting:
On behalf of AACPS school staff, students, families, and allies, we stand firmly behind the science leading into the Fall 2021 semester, which prioritizes the safety of our community. Wearing masks is a simple mitigation strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that, when combined with a full safety plan, will help keep us healthy and safe.
Ensuring full in-person learning for our students means ensuring safe working conditions for every student and employee in our schools. This requires all in the school community, including parents, employees, and students, to practice these same measures outside of the schoolhouse. Ahead of students’ return September 8 through 10, we ask that the Board of Education work with us to create a plan to monitor, track, and report health concerns across the system. We are thankful to Superintendent Dr. Arlotto for his recommendations regarding mask wearing in buildings to protect everyone, particularly our youngest and our most vulnerable students and employees.
Members of TAAAC, SAAAAC, AEL, AFSCME Local 1693 and PTA look forward to working with the BOE in deciding how incoming federal funding is used to make sure this school year is successful. We support the use of American Rescue Plan funding to increase opportunities for social distancing (especially in elementary schools and during mealtimes), prioritize testing and monitoring of cases of COVID-19, and update indoor air quality systems.
Ahead of the September 1 meeting of the Board of Education, we reiterate our collective support of Dr. Arlotto’s mask recommendations and urge all board members to vote in support as well. Our students and employees deserve every safety precaution as we move forward.