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Summer Fun from the Comfort of your Home is only a Few Clicks Away!

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Summer 2020 is different than any we have experienced before, and new challenges call for innovative solutions! Summer at Friends has taken many of your favorite aspects of summer camp, including art, science, music, drama, and technology, and transformed them into exciting virtual options.

These Virtual Summer programs are designed with kids in mind, and are scheduled to make it easy for busy parents! Most programs are one hour long and feature a mix of instruction, time to share projects with friends, plus a few activities for children to enjoy throughout the rest of the day! There are plenty of options, and you can mix and match different classes to craft a schedule that is perfect for your child!

Parents, educators concerned about impact of distance learning on students, according to MSEA poll

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Image courtesy of Maryland State Education Association

The majority of Maryland parents and educators are concerned about the effects of distance learning on students, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the Maryland State Education Association.

The poll, conducted by GBAO Strategies Association, found that more than 80 percent of educators are “seriously concerned” about student motivation, class participation, internet access and mental health while teaching students remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 70 percent of parents are concerned about students missing their peers, teachers and extracurricular activities.

Morgan State University releases plan to reopen for fall semester

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Photo courtesy of Morgan State University

Morgan State University will offer a combination of online and in-person classes this fall semester, reduce on-campus housing by nearly a third of capacity, and take other precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus under its reopening plan.

In a letter to the university community, Morgan State University president David Wilson said the coronavirus pandemic has forced the university to adapt to new challenges over the past few months, but the university community has come together to navigate these changes.

Distance Learning Brings RPCS Community Closer Together

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When Maryland schools closed in mid-March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Roland Park Country School community quickly rose to the challenge of adapting to distance learning and has embraced the new virtual environment. Throughout the spring, teachers, students and their families in grades K-12 have been flexible, resilient and creative, while continuing to engage in rigorous learning from home.

Embracing the New Normal
“Overall, the distance learning program has been great, and our spirited community here at RPCS never fails to make the best out of any situation, “ said ninth grader Sofia Mollica. Instead of feeling confined to the digital realm, students are embracing this learning model and finding new ways to take intellectual risks and grow. “It’s been a profoundly exciting way to see the power of technology and its ability to connect,” said Lindsay Fitzpatrick, Upper School English teacher. This spring, her seniors used their distance learning to experiment and create unique final assessment projects that apply literary devices and critical lenses they studied all year, including a podcast exploring motherhood in literature, an interview series about modern feminism and family constellations, and a video project examining white privilege through poetry. “Distance learning has been going well because, ultimately, I teach such wonderful students,” said Lindsay. “They are deeply dedicated to their work, and while the formatting has changed, that dedication has never wavered.”

University System of Maryland will mix in-person, remote instruction for fall semester

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Image courtesy of University System of Maryland

University System of Maryland institutions will use a mixture of in-person and remote instruction during the fall semester, the school system announced on Friday.

Each of the organization’s 12 universities will announce their own plans for the fall semester within the next two weeks.

John Waters says in commencement address he has found the cure for COVID-19

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John Waters virtually addresses the students at School of Visual Arts New York City.

Filmmaker John Waters announced today that he has found the cure for COVID-19.

In a virtual commencement speech to the graduating class of 2020 from School of Visual Arts New York City (SVA), Waters revealed that the solution to ending the pandemic has been right out in the open all along:

“Artists, you are the cure… the only people that can inspire the world to notice and then alter its destructive behavior,” he announced. “You’re not the new normal, you’re the vaccine.”

Johns Hopkins hosts a virtual commencement featuring Gomez Addams and Thing, among many surprise guests

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John Astin as Gomez Addams. Astin is a professor at Johns Hopkins University.

Universities come up with some surprising speakers for their graduations, but Gomez Addams and Thing? That’s who opened the 144th Commencement Ceremony of the Johns Hopkins University, during which 9055 students received degrees on Thursday.

The proceedings started on an empty stage at Shriver Hall, with the Hopkins seal against a blue velvet curtain, and a familiar, slightly befuddled-sounding voice making an announcement from behind the curtain.

Due to pandemic, local universities take a variety of approaches to celebrate commencement

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Graduation season will have less pomp and circumstance this year because the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented public gatherings, and that has prompted local colleges and universities to take a variety of approaches to marking the occasion for their students.

Maryland could begin first phase of recovery next week; select outdoor activities permitted tomorrow

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Barring any spikes in the number of people being hospitalized or admitted to intensive care units due to COVID-19, Maryland could begin the first stage of its recovery plan next week, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday.

Maryland could lift its stay-at-home order and begin the first stage of the coronavirus recovery plan next week if the rate of hospitalizations and number of intensive care unit admissions continue to flatten or decline, Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday.

Hogan added that he is not committing to reopening the state “because the numbers could spike back up and we’ll say, ‘Sorry, we’re not moving forward.” But he said the state could proceed with its recovery plan “if the numbers continue to show these positive signs.”

Santelises joins letter calling for federal relief for big-city schools

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Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters on North Avenue. Photo by Eli Pousson/Baltimore Heritage, via Flickr.

Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises joined 62 other leaders of big-city school systems in calling for more than $200 billion in federal aid in the next relief bill responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

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