BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - Bessemer City Schools announced Friday that students will begin a blended learning model in the next few weeks.
Students who registered for the new model will begin its transition on September 28. There will be two groups - Group A and Group B - with Group A attending in-person learning Monday and Tuesday and Group B attending in-person learning Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will be virtual for all students.
“Some children do better face to face, so we want to allow that option for those who need that," Superintendent Dr. Autumm Jeter said. "This is only for those parents who want their kids to come back in on the traditional approach, the virtual model will still be there. That is not changing.”
Group assignment is based on the student’s home address. Parents will be notified of their child’s group by September 18.
Superintendent Dr. Autumm Jeter said 53% of Bessemer school parents have decided to keep their kids home all year, but 47% say they are ready to send their students back.
“We are coming back at 50% capacity, it still may be less than that because half of our student body has chosen virtual," Dr. Jeter said. “There will be a lot of social distancing measures in place. We will have tape on the floors and the hallways to remind them to space out and what side to walk on."
Dr. Jeter said the decision was made after consulting with Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson. There was also consideration given to numerous parents and employees who expressed desires for students to have in-person learning.
“Being in person allows our teachers to better nurture their students, especially the younger ones, and to ensure all of our students are offered an equitable and quality learning experience,” says Dr. Jeter. “But, my first priority - of course - is always to ensure the conditions are suitable for the safety of everyone.”
Virtual students will continue their online platforms. Parents who wish to move their children to virtual learning have that option.