ANNAPOLIS, MD (AP) – Maryland’s state superintendent is pressing school systems to consider bringing small groups of students back to class despite surging coronavirus cases. State Superintendent Karen Salmon cited the needs of students as well as research that does not show major spread of the virus in schools. Salmon pointed to failing grades in school systems that rely on remote instruction. Children’s mental health also is a big concern. State officials said it appears that two of Maryland’s 24 school systems are conducting some form of in-person schooling. Salmon said it will be “critical” to return students to hybrid models of instruction. Such models typically offer in-person classes for part of each week.

KAREN SALMON