ANNAPOLIS — Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Maryland public schools will remain closed for four more weeks and through April 24, State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon announced Wednesday.

Child and daycare facilities throughout the state will remain open.

To slow spread of the disease, schools have been closed since March 16.

"We do not make this decision lightly," she said. "However, with the challenges facing our state and our country, we have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our school communities and the communities at large."

Salmon is communicating with the state's school system superintendents to provide continuous learning opportunities for students, she said.

"The local school systems are going to do their very best to push out resources," she said.

"We will be diligent in educational services to our students with disabilities," Salmon said and added more information about the situation will be available in the coming days.

"While it is too early to definitively say exactly when schools will reopen, we will continue to reassess the situation as we move forward," she said.

Summer school could be an option.

"We may look at an extended year," she said. 

Allegany County Public Schools has been working on a plan for the continuity of learning, ACPS Public Information Officer Mia Cross said via press release.

"Once the Maryland State Department of Education provides a timeline for the implementation of the continuity of learning plans, it will be communicated to the ACPS staff, parents, and students," she said.

ACPS will continue to provide meals for students at all of its 21 schools from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

On Monday, ACPS early college students will begin or resume completion of their Allegany College of Maryland spring semester college courses via an online platform.

ACM is requiring the action as result of the recent closure of ACM and ACPS due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Early college students must finish their coursework through the online platform and must obtain a passing grade to earn college credits from ACM.

For more, visit acpsmd.org.

Check back at times-news.com for updates.

Teresa McMinn is the digital editor at Cumberland Times-News. Email her at tmcminn@times-news.com, call/text her at 304-639-2371 and follow her on Twitter.

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