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Back to School Recommendations

Last updated: November 16, 2020

Back To School - Girl wearing a mask

Safety Plans and Collaboration with Nonpublic Schools
List of Approved Plans

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health sent a letter to nonpublic schools on August 13 to proactively ensure that nonpublic schools have safety measures in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in their schools. There are two requirements for nonpublic schools:

  • Submitting a safety plan for approval prior to reopening in-person.
  • Contacting the Department of Health if a student or staff member is positive.

Click here for the Behavioral Health Bureau’s 2020 School Year Parents’ Planner


The health department expects that every school that wants to open to in-person instruction will have a written safety plan that outlines the changes in place to minimize transmission of COVID-19. The plan will be reviewed within 2 business days and those that appropriately address all the elements of federal (CDC) and state (MSDE) guidance can reopen. For those with deficiencies in their plan, the department will work with those schools to improve their plans so that they can safely reopen on time. For those that choose not to open to in-person instruction at this time, a plan can be submitted a plan now or at a later date at least 14 days prior to re-opening.

For the list of nonpublic schools with approved plans, click here.

This approach gives schools the flexibility they need while ensuring that students and staff return to a school with the necessary safety precautions in place.

While the Department of Health does not recommend opening at this time, it is up to nonpublic school leaders to make a decision based on the specifics of their community. Also, the COVID-19 situation in our county changes week to week and recommendations will be updated as needed.

The Department of Health and schools want the same thing: to ensure that our children get the education they need while protecting their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This approach allows collaboration before school starts so that we start the school year on the right foot.


11.13.20 – Nonpublic School Leadership Letter

10.23.20 – Maryland School Health Services Frequently Asked Questions

10.5.20 – Reopening Schools: COVID-19 Health Guidelines for Anne Arundel County

10.5.20 – Presentation for Board of Education by Anne Arundel County Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman, M.D.

8.28.20 – Guidance for Temperature and Symptom Screening in Schools

8.28.20 – Guidance for Use of Cloth Face Coverings in Maryland Schools

8.28.20 – Response to a Laboratory Confirmed Case of COVID-19 and Persons with COVID-19-like Illness in Schools

8.27.20 – COVID-19 Guidance for Maryland Public Schools

8.13.20 – Collaboration with Nonpublic Schools – PDF

8.12.20 – Letter to Nonpublic Schools or PDF

Guidance and Resources for Nonpublic and Local Schools That Reopen

Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education – Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)

Coronavirus – Schools and Childcare Programs​, Plan, Prepare, and Respond – U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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