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School sets plan for return to classrooms

By Michael Butler

Tallassee City Schools will have options for students to return to the classroom or work from home when the school year begins on Aug. 19, although a blended curriculum will be offered initially.

"It is my heartfelt belief that there is no better learning environment for our students than to be in a classroom with a highly qualified teacher," acting superintendent Brock Nolin said. "The reality that faces us with COVID-19 is such that a virtual or blended teaching environment may be our only option. I cannot, in good conscience, require our students to attend an environment that may come with health risks; therefore, you will have an option to decide what will be best in these times for your family."

Parents/guardians must decide on their preferred option (virtual or traditional) by July 29. Devices will be provided for those selecting the virtual option, but they must have a stable internet connection from their set learing environment.

"Tallassee City Schools has purchased 150 WiFi hotspots," Nolin said. The WiFi hotspots will be available for those who do not have internet connectivity.

A soft opening will be in place from the first day of school until the Labor Day break where all students will have at least some virtual teaching required based on the Back to School Task Force's recommendation.

"In an effort to maintain proper social distancing guidelines, each campus will split into Group A and Group B. Students will attend school face to face on their assigned days, and they will attend virtually on the opposite days."

Aug. 19
Group A
Aug. 20
Group B
Aug. 21
Group A
Aug. 24
Group B
Aug. 25
Group A
Aug. 26
Group B
Aug. 27
Group A
Aug. 28
Group B
Aug. 31
Group A
Sept. 1
Group B
Sept. 2
Group A
Sept. 3
Group B
Sept. 4
All Virtual Day
Sept. 7
Labor Day
Sept. 8
All Students
Sept. 9
All Students
Sept. 10
All Students
Sept. 11
All Students

The plan is to discontinue the blended course work after Labor Day and commit to traditional in-classroom or from-home virtual methods.

"Families who choose virtual learning will be required to make that commitment for a full nine-week period. If a family wishes to transition to traditional learning, they may do so at the beginning of any nine-week period."

July 21 Board Meeting

Temperatures will be taken on a daily basis. Teachers will wear facial coverings while teaching and transitioning. Students will be required to wear masks when moving about campus but not while sitting at their desks. Elementary and middle school students will eat breakfast and lunch in classrooms. High schoolers will social distance in the cafeteria.

"For extracurricular activities, such as band, all school events that would normally be held in large numbers and not socially distanced will be reevaluated to determine if the event can take place within the new health guidelines."

As for plans beyond the start of the school year next month...

"Just like most others, and lots of folks smarter than me, I can't predict the future," Nolin concluded.

*Reopening Documents