THOMASVILLE — At a Thomasville City Schools board meeting this week, members voted to return middle and high school students to a four-day weekly calendar.

The board decided unanimously this week to bring all of the city’s students into classrooms for every weekday but Friday, which will remain the system’s lone remote day. Cate Gentry, TCS superintendent, recommended leaving elementary students on four days per week while moving grades 6-12 to the same schedule.

“This has unfortunately been a very divided issue and has become the opposite of what it should be, which is an issue of what’s best for kids,” Gentry said. “As I look at what I’m seeing in our buildings, I believe that what’s best for kids is that they’re in face-to-face instruction as much as we can get them in face-to-face instruction.”

At the March 2 board meeting, the school system approved pre-K-5 students to move to Plan A.

All students will now be in school Monday through Thursday. The distinguishing feature of Plan A is that it no longer requires 6 feet of social distance, having been reduced to 3 feet of distance.

“I believe it’s the right move,” board chairman James Carmichael said. “Is it risk free? No, it is not. … [TCS staff] are going to come in some kind of contact with kids. That’s why I think they have a responsibility, as much as anybody, to get vaccinated. We’re not making anybody do that at this point.”

In October, the TCS Board of Education voted to continue with remote learning for the remainder of the semester, ensuring grades 6-12 stay off campus through December. Remote instruction has been in effect for middle and high school students since the beginning of classes last fall was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TRAIL program continues to remain as a fully remote option. The program is an alternative to traditional face-to-face instruction, offering personalized, rigorous online learning facilitated by TCS teachers.

taff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.

taff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.