MCPS looks to substitutes, retirees, community to fill staff gaps during hybrid learning

For Montgomery County Public Schools’ plan to reopen facilities to materialize this academic year, the district will need more than significantly improved COVID-19 metrics. It will also need more teachers. MCPS announced on Nov. 6 that it plans to begin a phased return to school buildings in January, but only if the pandemic improves. The announcement came as Montgomery County is in the middle of a new surge of COVID-19 cases, with more than 100 new cases reported each day for the past 27 days. The local test positivity rate has steadily increased, and more pressure is on hospitals as coronavirus patients fill their beds. (Bethesda Beat)

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Former students of shuttered Maryland college to get $2.6M in debt relief

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced an agreement to obtain approximately $2,622,877 in debt relief for former students of the shuttered Brightwood College. Brightwood College, a national, for-profit higher education institution that offered degrees in health and computer technology fields, suddenly closed down its locations after losing its accreditation in December 2018. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Maryland businessman, ex-Harvard coach charged in $1.5M college admissions scam

The former fencing coach at Harvard and a wealthy Maryland businessman were arrested Monday on accusations that the coach took $1.5 million in bribes in exchange for helping the businessman get his two sons into the Ivy League school as recruited fencers. Peter Brand, 67, who was fired by Harvard last year, and Jie “Jack” Zhao, 61, of Potomac face a charge of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery. Their arrest comes more than a year after a newspaper reported that Brand sold his home for nearly double its assessed value to Zhao. Zhao also paid for Brand’s car and helped cover Brand’s son’s college tuition, prosecutors said. (Balt Sun)

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A Problem for the Ages

Colleges and universities, desperate for new revenue, are increasingly turning to nontraditional — specifically, older — students as a potential crutch for the financial and enrollment pain delivered by the coronavirus pandemic. Many are likely to be disappointed by the lack in response. Recent data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows the number of adult learners enrolling at schools is declining even as interviews with college leaders and industry consultants make clear that outreach to older, more career-advanced students is part of the game plan for more and more schools struggling to balance their books. (Balt Biz Journal)

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Delmar Elementary School closes after three COVID-19 cases, shifts to virtual learning

Delmar Elementary School is immediately shifting to virtual learning for the next two weeks after health officials confirmed three staff members tested positive for COVID-19, Wicomico County Public Schools announced Sunday. The school principal informed students, families and staff of the change in instruction on Sunday afternoon. Virtual learning will start Monday, and in-person instruction is expected to resume on Monday, Nov. 30 for all grades at Delmar Elementary. (Delmarva)

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COVID Cases Increased In Children As Schools Reopened, Health Officer Says

COVID-19 cases have increased in children as school reopened, Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch said during a press conference Friday. “As it relates to our young folks going back to school, we definitely see an increase in our youngsters getting COVID-19,” Branch said. “We have not seen an increase in the Baltimore County in the hospitalizations of our young folks, but we have had another a death of a young person because of COVID-19.” (WJZ-TV)

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Schools Reverse Reopening Plans as COVID-19 Cases Increase

More local school systems have rolled back their reopening plans as coronavirus cases steadily increase across the state. On Thursday morning, the state reported ­­­­1,477 new cases and a positive test rate of 5.65%, passing the 5% benchmark set by the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization, to indicate a high spread of COVID-19, for the fourth day in a row. Maryland’s positivity rate had not gone above 5% since June 25. (Md Matters)

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3 USM schools moving to remote learning after coronavirus surge

Just two weeks out from Thanksgiving, after which most University System of Maryland schools were planning to end their semesters or return to online-only education, three universities in the system have preemptively pivoted to virtual learning after a semester of hybrid schooling. Both Frostburg State University and Bowie State University announced the pivot on Wednesday, citing a Nov. 10 press conference in which Gov. Larry Hogan tightened COVID-19 restrictions and warned that the state’s COVID-19 numbers had entered “the danger zone.” Both schools moved to virtual learning that Thursday. (Daily Record)

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