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Schools continues virtual/classroom mix

By Michael Butler

Tallassee City Schools will remain in its A/B mode of on-campus and at-home learning through the end of January.

Superintendent Dr. Brock Nolin said that COVID numbers do not substantiate a return of all students to classrooms yet.

"We look at the data," Nolin said. "Elmore County is still in the high statistics. It doesn't show any sign of coming down right now. The predictions have been accurate. We had a spike after Thanksgiving, so we did the A/B after Christmas."

Nolin said about 45 students and approximately 15 staff members are returning to school this week after going through COVID quarantine protocols.

"We've decided to extend the A/B rotation. It's the only way were able to keep that six-foot distance. I do not like doing it. The teachers' jobs or more difficult. The learning gap's getting bigger, but my number one job is to make sure my staff and students are safe."

About a third of the state's overall coronavirus cases were reported during the holidays, the spike that Nolin referenced.

"(In) our community, we have the people everybody knows who are on vents right now and who have passed away. It's hit home."

The A/B schedule could be extended, Nolin indicated.

"The plan is to come back full force if the numbers supports it. If everything's still spiking, it's a real reality that this is what we may do for a little while. I hate it for the working parents and children."

With vaccinations now becoming available, Nolin is hopeful to see a curb in cases.

"I wish I could look into a crystal ball. I'm trying to give timely responses. We're going to make decisions as the data comes out."