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Return to the Classroom: Guide for Parents

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THE GOALIt 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. 2

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GREEN GROUPREMOTE STUDENTSGRAY GROUPStaggered 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 timeFollowed by2. Full-time, in classroom learningPhase 1: Staggered LearningBy 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.3 (synchronous)(asynchronous)

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Phase 2: Full-Time, In Classroom LearningAt 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.SAMEDIFFERENT• Schoology is the learningmanagement system• Strong, regular communication• Social distancing, to the extentpossible, masks, hygiene• All students attend school every dayexcept 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 StudentsStudents 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 theSpring during the formal annual student assessment window.• In-person services will be provided as needed, such as small group instruction andremediation.• Students retain access to extra-curricular activities such as after-school clubs, athletics andstudent events.• All student rules and procedures - particularly those related to health and safety - apply anytime a full-time virtual student visits his/her school campus.• Schools and the district are firmly committed to providing on-going communication, bothregarding issues that concern all students and issues unique to full-year virtual students.4

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Requests to Change from Virtual to In Classroom or From In Classroom to VirtualRequests 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.5Phased Re-Opening ScheduleSubject to local health conditionsSept. 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.

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What Your Child Can Expect Each DayStudents 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 fromeach other as possible. Students may be asked to sit alone or only withsiblings on the school bus.• Breakfast and lunch will take place in classrooms or in a setting thatallows 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 tonon-contact activities.• There may be more breaks for handwashing each day. Students maybe asked to wash upon arrival, several times during the day and beforegoing home.• Music and art classes and library lessons will be delivered virtually toelementary students.• Gifted education services will be provided through a virtual learningplatform.Gifted specialists will collaborate with general educationteachers to assist with planning to meet the needs of gifted learners inthe general education setting.• Wearing masks may make it harder to understand what the teacheris saying. It may be harder for the teacher to understand students. Itis important for students to let the teacher know if they are havingdifficulty 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 forthe year, your child may not see their same friends at school.6 Read the TCS transportation plan here. 

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7Daily Check List Before School Each MorningDo not send your child to school if theyshow any of the following symptoms.rNew coughrNew loss of taste or smellrShortness of breath or difficulty breathingrFever or chillsrMuscle or body achesrHeadacherSore throatrCongestion or runny noserNausea or vomitingrDiarrhearFatigueIF THE ANSWER TO EVEN ONE OF THESE IS “YES”, DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept., 2020.

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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 possible68

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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 requiredfor all students. We expect students to avoid physicalcontact and maintain distance from others to the greatestdegree possible.• Face coverings are required for everyone in all schoolbuildings.• 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 andarrangements, hall/bathroom passes, etc. Each school willprovide detailed communication of required proceduresand will teach them to students.7Face coverings are required of everyone in all school buildings.9

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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.