I made two maps about Maryland virtual learning programs for the 2021-2022 school year using data presented by the Maryland State Department of Education at the July 27, 2021 meeting of the State Board of Education. I appreciate that MSDE collected detailed data, but I found it difficult to process and understand. So, I made a map.

The first thing I did was separate the data into two maps: 1) elementary school and 2) middle and high school. I did this because this was the major divide in most counties about virtual learning program offerings.

I did my best to accurately portray the data published by MSDE, but I did make some assumptions and judgment calls. Sometimes it was not 100% clear about the meaning of the responses, so I did my best. I also errored on the side of simplicity because this is a graphic that is intended to give a basic idea of what is happening, not an essay.

Elementary School Virtual Learning Programs 2021-2022

In map form, it is much clearer that nine counties do not have any virtual learning programs in 2021-2022 for K-5 students. Four additional counties only offer virtual learning opportunities for certain (upper elementary) grades. Ten counties and Baltimore City offer virtual learning programs for grades K-5. I almost just wrote, all K-5 students, but that would not be accurate. Most jurisdictions restricted access to the program. Most jurisdictions had a set number of enrollments for each grade.

Middle and High School Virutal Learning Programs 2021-2022

The map shows that two counties do not offer any virtual learning programs for middle and high school students and an additional county only offers virtual programs for sixth-grade students. I believe that Howard County only offers a virtual program for sixth-grade students because generally students in seventh grade and are above are 12 and over and eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Nine counties on the Eastern Shore will be offering virtual learning programs through the Eastern Shore of Maryland Educational Consortium. I believe that the consortium will be using APEX as a vendor. In addition the consortium, two Eastern Shore will also be offering their own blended virtual program to middle and high school students. Further, eleven counties and Baltimore City will be offering blended virtual programs to their middle and high school students.

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