SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WBRC) - Sylacauga City Schools will start on August 27 with an alternating schedule for students who chose traditional, in-person instruction.
The Sylacauga City Board of Education unanimously approved changes to the reopening plan during a called board meeting Wednesday night.
Dr. Jon Segars, Superintendent of Sylacauga City Schools, explained the reason for the change by stating, “Local health conditions in Sylacauga have changed causing us to alter our format to start our school year. Eleven employee families within our school district have been affected by the virus over the past two weeks, and we must change our approach to protect the safety of this community.”
All students who selected the traditional learning platform will be divided into two groups alphabetically and attend school on an alternating cycle. Segars explained that reducing the daily number of students in attendance will help classrooms maintain adequate social distancing for the protection of students and teachers.
Moving back the start date by a week will allow families time to prepare for these changes, and teachers time to prepare for the instructional needs of their classes, Segars said.
To begin the semester and for the first two days only, Group A (last names beginning with A-L) will attend campus orientation classes on Thursday, August 27, and Group B (last names beginning with M-Z) will attend on Friday, August 28 for all schools.
After these first two days of orientation, Group A will attend traditional classes on Monday and Tuesday while Group B will attend on Thursday and Friday each week. Teachers will be on campus each weekday during normal school hours to answer questions and provide instruction.
Wednesday will be a remote learning day for students so that facilities can be cleaned and sanitized.
Families still have the option to participate in Blended Learning from home with a Sylacauga teacher, or Virtual Learning at home via one of the curriculum platforms the district provides.
Families will be allowed to consolidate if there are multiple last names in any household at any one school and across the district.
Segars said, “We will follow the data and as public health conditions improve and social distance restrictions ease, we will reevaluate our situation and adjust plans as we can,” he added. “After the first semester ending January 15, 2021, we plan to start reintegrating our blended and virtual learners back into classrooms assuming we begin to take control of COVID-19.”
Segars told the board buses will run each morning and afternoon by applying the same masking and cleanliness procedures as classrooms. Buses will be sanitized after each route.
Students will be expected to arrive on campus wearing a face mask and wear them throughout the day. The superintendent added students will have mask breaks whenever possible.