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Return to the Classroom: Guide for Parents

RETURN TO THE CLASSROOM
GUIDE FOR PARENTS
2020-2021
THE GOAL
It has been the goal of the Tuscaloosa City Schools to
return students to full time, in-person instruction as
soon as possible. It remains the belief of the Board
of Education that in-person, high-quality instruction
delivered by a certified teacher provides students the
best opportunity for academic success.
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GREEN
GROUP
REMOTE
STUDENTS
GRAY
GROUP
Staggered Learning Followed
by Full-Time In Classroom
Given improving community health conditions, we are moving forward with plans to transition
students back into buildings for face-to-face learning. This plan includes a two-part approach:
1. Staggered learning for a period of time
Followed by
2. Full-time, in classroom learning
Phase 1: Staggered Learning
By dividing students at each school into two groups and alternating the days that each group is in
school with virtual, independent learning from home, there will be fewer students in the building
at any given time, allowing for safer face-to-face instruction.
Students will be divided into two groups: Green Group and Gray Group.
Local schools will notify parents of each student’s designated group.
Students in the Green Group will attend face-to-face instruction in school on
Monday and Tuesday of each week.
Students in the Gray Group will attend face-to-face instruction in school on
Wednesday and Thursday of each week.
On the days that students are not attending face-to-face instruction in school, they will be
provided virtual/asynchronous instruction. Note that this will take the form of assignments and
learning opportunities for students to complete on their own as teachers will be engaged at the
same time in teaching the students who will be on campus.
Households with multiple TCS students will be in the same group (either Green or Gray) to ensure
parents/guardians need not worry about the logistics complications of one student assigned the
Green Group and another student assigned the Gray Group.
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(synchronous)
(asynchronous)
Phase 2: Full-Time, In Classroom Learning
At the earliest date allowed by local health conditions, all Tuscaloosa City Schools will return to
full time, in-classroom operations. All students who have not opted for full-year virtual will return
to in-classroom learning.
Tuscaloosa City Schools is committed to a continued emphasis on preserving the health and
safety of our students and staff. The structures and procedures implemented during our
staggered schedules will remain in place.
Social distancing, will be enforced to the greatest degree possible.
Face coverings will be required for all students and all employees throughout the school day.
Frequent hand-washing and other personal hygiene practices will be followed.
SAME
DIFFERENT
Schoology is the learning
management system
Strong, regular communication
Social distancing, to the extent
possible, masks, hygiene
All students attend school every day
except full-year virtual students
Instruction takes place face-to-face
Participation in all classes as "normal"
TCS will follow the Alabama Department of Public Health Toolkit as it relates to students and
employee travel. In the event self-quarantine is necessary due to travel, students will have the
option to attend school virtually.
Full-Year Virtual Students
Students who signed up for full-year virtual will have a regular school day schedule. However,
TCS will follow screen time recommendations to provide live instruction. Your child's teacher
will provide a schedule for small group instruction and live instruction.
These procedures, expectations, and services will continue for full-year virtual students.
Students must visit campus to take state-required standardized tests, particularly in the
Spring during the formal annual student assessment window.
In-person services will be provided as needed, such as small group instruction and
remediation.
Students retain access to extra-curricular activities such as after-school clubs, athletics and
student events.
All student rules and procedures - particularly those related to health and safety - apply any
time a full-time virtual student visits his/her school campus.
Schools and the district are firmly committed to providing on-going communication, both
regarding issues that concern all students and issues unique to full-year virtual students.
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Requests to Change from Virtual to In
Classroom or From In Classroom to Virtual
Requests will be reviewed and approved to change from virtual to in classroom or
from in classroom to virtual only as staffing/scheduling allow. If the student's school
staffing/schedule allows for a change, the request will then be forwarded to the Deputy
Superintendent for approval. There are no guarantees that requests will be granted.
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Phased Re-Opening Schedule
Subject to local health conditions
Sept. 21 – Oct. 9 Staggered schedule for Elementary and Middle School students.
Sept. 28 – Oct. 9 Staggered schedule for High School students. High School students
will remain in full time virtual until Sept. 28.
Oct. 12 Full return to classroom, five days per week for Elementary, Middle and
High School students.
What Your Child Can Expect Each Day
Students and parents should be aware that changes in most procedures are
necessary. We encourage parents to help prepare students for the reality that
school will look and feel a lot different than it usually does.
Here are some points to consider discussing with your student.
Social distancing rules will require students to be seated as far away from
each other as possible. Students may be asked to sit alone or only with
siblings on the school bus.
Breakfast and lunch will take place in classrooms or in a setting that
allows for significant social distancing, to the extent possible.
At times, temperatures may be checked as a screening safety measure.
Break, recess and PE will be different. PE classes will be restricted to
non-contact activities.
There may be more breaks for handwashing each day. Students may
be asked to wash upon arrival, several times during the day and before
going home.
Music and art classes and library lessons will be delivered virtually to
elementary students.
Gifted education services will be provided through a virtual learning
platform.Gifted specialists will collaborate with general education
teachers to assist with planning to meet the needs of gifted learners in
the general education setting.
Wearing masks may make it harder to understand what the teacher
is saying. It may be harder for the teacher to understand students. It
is important for students to let the teacher know if they are having
difficulty hearing what is being said.
Students will not be allowed to gather before or after school.
Because of staggering and some families choosing virtual learning for
the year, your child may not see their same friends at school.
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Daily Check List Before
School Each Morning
Do not send your child to school if they
show any of the following symptoms.
r
New cough
r
New loss of taste or smell
r
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
r
Fever or chills
r
Muscle or body aches
r
Headache
r
Sore throat
r
Congestion or runny nose
r
Nausea or vomiting
r
Diarrhea
r
Fatigue
IF THE ANSWER TO EVEN
ONE OF THESE IS “YES”,
DO NOT SEND YOUR
CHILD TO SCHOOL.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept., 2020.
How Tuscaloosa City Schools is
Keeping Students and Staff Safe
• Appropriate PPE for all employees
• New hand sanitizing stations
• Frequent cleaning and disinfecting
• Requiring all students, staff and visitors wear face coverings
• At times, temperatures may be checked as a screening safety
• Practicing six-foot social distancing, to the extent possible
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Rules & Procedures
For Staggered and
Full-Time, In Classroom:
Tuscaloosa City Schools will fully and rigorously
implement all Alabama Department of Public
Health guidelines for the health and safety of our
students, staff, families and community.
Social distancing, to the extent possible, is required
for all students. We expect students to avoid physical
contact and maintain distance from others to the greatest
degree possible.
Face coverings are required for everyone in all school
buildings.
Students should engage in frequent hand-washing and /
or hand sanitizing while at school.
Most procedural practices will be adjusted in all schools
- transitions within the school, seating charts and
arrangements, hall/bathroom passes, etc. Each school will
provide detailed communication of required procedures
and will teach them to students.
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Face
coverings
are required
of everyone
in all school
buildings.
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We remain committed to making
decisions based on changing
circumstances. Thank you in
advance for your patience and
flexibility as we continue to make
adjustments along the way.