The Tuscaloosa City Schools system recently announced its institutions will continue with a Hybrid Learning Model for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.

Students will meet face-to-face in classrooms Monday through Thursday and virtually on Friday until this school year is over. However, TCS administrators have seen a decline in COVID-19 numbers among students and staff in recent weeks. As a result, TCS plans to resume five-day in-person instruction in the fall.

“As we’ve worked to make the decision for the last part of the school year, we’ve looked at everything from our employee vaccinations, the needs of our virtual students, balancing the needs of educators, and the needs of our students,” said TCS Superintendent Mike Daria. “We want to make sure the instruction is robust and strong and we want to do that in a way that we can ensure it is taking place.”

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The decision to continue Hybrid Learning was made in consideration of full-time virtual students. Resuming the Hybrid Learning method also allows TCS the opportunity to continue meal distribution on Fridays for families in need.

“Our virtual students’ schedules are important. It’s important that they have access to their instructors at the times they have access to [them] now, and that includes time on Friday,” Daria said.

Daria announced the decision Friday after, he said, considering all of the risk factors. TCS leaders believe resuming five-day in-person instruction now would not be the best decision at this time.

“To our parents who may be disappointed with our decision for March, April, and May, I assure you we are on target to be five days in the fall: full-time and in-person,” he said. “In fact, there are no other decisions to be made at this point. We are ready to get our children back on all of our campuses.”

The superintendent added that plans are well underway for a robust summer learning program, intended to shore up skills in advance of the 2021-2022 school year, where students will attend Monday through Friday.

Adjustments will be made next fall for Pre K-12 students who may need to access virtual learning due to unforeseen circumstances. In the fall, Pre-K through eighth-grade students with documented medical issues may access homebound services through the TCS procedures.

Students in grades 9-12 may access virtual learning through the established policy.

Watch Daria's full announcement below:

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