After less than two weeks of online classes, the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) has unveiled a plan to resume in-person classes in stages beginning as early as next week.
Superintendent Chresal Threadgill sent MCPSS teachers a memo Wednesday stating the system would begin a phased reopening plan for schools that would start with special education students on Sept. 14. The plan would stagger in grade levels over the next three weeks, while still maintaining a virtual option for parents.
Initially, the system decided in July to stick with online classes for the first half of the fall semester because of the elevated number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the area at the time. Since then, the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have continued to trend down in Mobile County.
“Is remote learning the best for some students? Absolutely. However, over the past week, it has been determined that it is not best for ALL students,” Threadgill wrote. “It is working beautifully for some, others are showing no progress, and some are not capable of learning remotely. Therefore, based on numbers in our area and factual student data, I have decided that we will begin phasing students back into the classrooms.”
According to Threadgill, students will be phased in by grade levels to allow schools, teachers and students to acclimate to the change. According to a subsequent schedule released to MCPSS parents this afternoon, the resumption of in-person classes will be phased in as follows:
While the resumption of in-person instruction will give all students the option to return to the classroom, parents will still be able to continue remote learning for their children. In order to streamline the transition, students will continue to complete lessons on the online platform Schoology whether they return to the classroom or continue learning from home.
Speaking to parents, Threadgill said operations staff and principals will be doing everything to ensure buildings are frequently cleaned and safe for students, teachers, and administrators.
“We have put measures in place for our face-to-face learning, such as social distancing, wearing of masks, adjustments to our arrival and dismissal routines as well as our breakfast/lunch program procedures to protect our students and employees,” Threadgill said. “We will be vigilant in our efforts, knowing that we will still have cases of COVID-19. We will continue to enact quarantines as recommended by the CDC and the Mobile County Health Department.”
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