CENTER POINT, Ala. (WBRC) - As Jefferson County school leaders work to bring students back for full in-person learning, Center Point High School leaders are dealing with a unique trend: More parents are choosing to keep their kids home.
Jefferson County officials report 55 percent of district students are doing traditional learning and 45 percent of students are doing virtual learning. But Center Point High School leaders are reporting numbers in stark contrast.
For a school of roughly 780, only about 120 students report weekly on the new staggered schedule.
“Initially we had anticipated we would have 110 to 120 students per day, so about 240 attending during the last two weeks," said Center Point principal Van Phillips. “But that didn’t materialize.”
Principal Phillips says about 80 percent of his students chose to do remote for the first nine weeks and more than half of that 80 percent will stay remote for the semester. He says his parents say it comes down to health,
“Sixty percent of my parents or grandparents who are guardians have an underlying condition,” said Phillips. “Parents are having to weigh the opportunity for my student to assimilate into the classroom or the opportunity for them to catch something that would take my life.”
Phillips points to community spread as a point of concern as well. Center Point is shaded a darker red on this Jefferson County Health map to indicate higher case reports.
The school is working around the high number of virtual learners by providing technical support and scheduling sessions for virtual learners who are struggling.
“We’re having to navigate that. It’s been like a moving target,” said Phillips. “We’ve had some teachers schedule their student to come in for small environment.”
The school also has a help desk available every day from 3-6 p.m. where students and parents get technical assistance.