TCSS superintendent proposes making two upcoming Mondays virtual days for all students

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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During Monday night’s Troup County School Board work session, Superintendent Brian Shumate proposed making two upcoming Mondays virtual days for all students.

Shumate said making two Mondays — Sept. 28 and Nov. 2 — virtual days would give teachers a chance to catch up after starting the school year adjusting due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’d like to propose that calendar change,” Shumate said. “It would be as if everybody in the district was virtual on those particular days.”

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If passed, on these two virtual learning days, teachers would assign asynchronous learning activities for students to complete at home, while teachers would work on-site to develop additional digital learning activities and become more proficient in the use of Canvas, TCSS’ learning management system.

The board is scheduled to vote on the two virtual days on Thursday.

TCSS has seen its virtual numbers climb to around 40 percent, which Shumate said was higher than anticipated. The school system announced last week that it was making Sept. 25 the final day students could choose to go from in-person instruction to virtual.

It was also announced last week that virtual students can elect to return to in-person instruction but must fill out paperwork to do so by Sept. 25. Shumate said 610 students in the Troup County Virtual Academy have already filled out paperwork to return to in-person instruction on Oct. 13, the date the second nine weeks start.

“That’s good news [that students are returning], and that’s over 5 percent [of virtual students],” Shumate said of students choosing to return to in-person instruction. “We think this number is going to go up to around 10 percent. We’ll be back down to around 30 percent [of students in virtual instruction].”

Shumate said the Sept. 25 deadline is to prevent principals from having to continuously rework their master schedules. Currently, as students move from in-person to virtual, schedules are constantly having to be adjusted.