MPS returns to virtual only until COVID-19 vaccine becomes available

MPS returns to virtual only until COVID-19 vaccine becomes available
Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore says the Montgomery Public Schools system will return to virtual learning until a COVID-19 vaccination becomes available to staff. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Public School students and faculty will move to remote working and learning, officials announced.

MPS Superintendent Ann Roy Moore made the announcement Monday during a news conference. Moore says students will move to a virtual schedule on Feb.1. MPS employees will also be working remotely during that time.

Moore says the system will resume in-person instruction when the school system is able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We understand we cannot force anyone to take the vaccine but the option to take the vaccine should be made available to our workforce,” Moore said.

The system has not been given a definite timeframe for when they will be able to obtain the vaccine. They may become available between late February and early March, Moore added.

Last week, the school system announced the deaths of four teachers. The causes of death were not released, and MPS did not specify if they were related to COVID-19.

Following the deaths, the Alabama Education Association called on the school system and Moore to allow remote teaching and learning through February. It also recommended limiting all school sporting events to school officials, athletes, coaches and immediate family members only.

Alabama Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported Friday MPS had 80 new cases of COVID-19.

The Alabama Education Association applauded the decision to go virtual. In a statement, AEA President Sherry Tucker said, “While time out of the classroom is difficult, learning losses can be made up. Lives cannot be brought back when they are lost. With vaccines on the way, this is a reasonable, prudent step. My hope is that other superintendents will carefully examine the risks of continuing in-person instruction right now versus the benefit of waiting for their employees to be fully protected.”

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