A recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Maryland will weigh on the Kent County School Board tonight as members consider whether to return students to the physical classroom or opt for an all-virtual curriculum at the start of the year.

Maryland racked up 3,100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 between July 24 and 26, the largest three day spike since the end of May. 

The rise in cases in the last few weeks has “alarmed” Kent County Health Officer William Webb, who briefed the Kent Commissioners last week with a recommendation to start the school year in an all-virtual setting.

His recommendations also consider nearly 1,100 Washington College students returning to the community this fall and are in the age group that has seen a spike in cases over the summer.

He said the college students represent “an influx of the most mobile demographic.”

The school board has also considered a hybrid model, which would combine online learning with the physical classroom.

The Maryland Education Association and the Maryland PTA recently implored Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland School Superintendent Karen Salmon to go with an all virtual curriculum this fall.

The board will go into closed session at the start of the meeting at 5:30 p.m. and hear the recommendations of Kent School Superintendent Karen Couch. The open session will begin at 6:30 when the board could vote on Couch’s recommendations.

The meeting will broadcast live on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/kcpsmdk12

School systems in Maryland have until Aug. 14 to submit their plans for reopening this fall to the Maryland Department of Education.