Dear Parents and Guardians,
At its February meeting, the Thomas County Board of Education endorsed a series of proposals recommended by the curriculum department to support students and teachers through the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year.
The “Finish Strong” plan calls for the return of more students to in-person learning and aims to reduce the number of teachers who have to simultaneously teach both in-person and on-line classes. To provide time for teachers, counselors, and administrators to plan for these adjustments, three teacher work days have been added to the school calendar.
Drawing on research from the CDC which has found “a preponderance of available evidence shows the benefits of in-school instruction outweigh risks associated with keeping students home,” all students who are engaged in on-line instruction are encouraged to return to in-person instruction on February 24 (https://www.healthline.com/health-news/cdc-says-schools-can-reopen-safely-during-the-pandemic#Health-officials-call-on-schools-to-reopen).
In addition, the school system is requiring all students who have been enrolled in online instruction and who are failing two or more academic classes to return to in-person instruction on February 24. Students whose doctor recommends that they continue on-line instruction for health reasons will be permitted to do so.
To provide time for administrators, counselors, and teachers to make adjustments to prepare for the return of students who have been enrolled in on-line instruction, February 22 and 23 will become student holidays and teacher work days. March 26 will also become a student holiday/teacher workday.
Realizing that some students who have fallen behind during the pandemic may not have time to fully recover their academic losses by the scheduled end of the school year, the school board has authorized a four-week summer school for students who need an extended school year to master the essential standards required for promotion.
School administrators will work with teachers to develop school-level, grade and content specific implementation plans to “Finish Strong!”
Please click on the “Finish Strong” video link below for more information:
"Finish Strong" Video
I am planning to share this information with our families this afternoon.
Thank you for all that you do for our students and our system,
Lisa Williams, Ed.D.