THOMASVILLE — As the upcoming school year approaches, Thomasville City Schools continues to march toward a traditional calendar that will see students on campus each day of the week.
Chris Kennedy, TCS assistant superintendent, addressed the plans of a full-on return to school on Monday, Aug. 16.
“We will be in person five days a week,” Kennedy said. “All instruction for 21-22 will be in person except for when remote instruction is a component of a course offering. We will continue to follow health and safety guidance from DPI and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as any executive orders from the governor which might be in place at the time.”
Meanwhile, in order to ensure the safety of its staff and students, the school system is encouraging those who will enter schools this year to be vaccinated. According to Kennedy, vaccination rates for employees have been promising.
“We have had hundreds of our Thomasville City Schools employees to be vaccinated,” Kennedy said. “At the present time, students who are 12 and over are eligible to be vaccinated and are encouraged to do so [in order] so that we can have the safest return to school possible.”
A plan for returning to a school year more closely resembling one in the pre-2020 era was made available for public comment on the TCS website last month. Parents were presented with an opportunity to sound off on what the final steps of the school system’s path to reopening looks like.
The plan is to have students on campus in a safe environment, uninterrupted with no incorporation of remote learning for traditional students, according to Kennedy. Feedback from parents offered additional support for the plan.
Enhanced protocols for cleaning and disinfection will continue in the fall, Kennedy said. Social distance will be maintained to the extent practical, he said, and transportation will resume regular operation regarding routes, times and capacity.
“We will not have a dedicated day without students in the building,” Kennedy said. “Our staff will adjust their schedules to make sure [enhanced cleaning] is done on a daily basis.”
Last year, TCS’s TRAIL Program provided an alternative to traditional face-to-face instruction by offering personalized, rigorous online learning facilitated by TCS teachers. The school district will now shift its focus to making five-day-per-week, in-person education possible throughout the 2021-22 school year.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.