Parents of students in Tuscaloosa City Schools have until next Friday to decide whether their children will undergo in-person or virtual learning for the spring semester.

Families will have until 4:30 p.m. on November 13th to fill out an online form and indicate if they will stick with their current learning model, whatever that may be, or switch for the rest of the academic year. This change will only apply to the second semester.

On October 19, all TCS schools returned to a four-day school week of in-person instruction, with Fridays designated for asynchronous virtual learning, but many parents have opted to keep their children learning virtually full-time.

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TCS Superintendent Mike Daria, who tested positive for COVID-19 in early October, said the four-day week and having many of the system's 11,000 students still learning virtually is giving the system a much-needed chance to prepare for a more complete return to normalcy, whatever that looks like.

"When we go back to five days, the social distancing -- we won't be able to accomplish that in classrooms,"  Daria said at a TCS Board meeting. "This gives us additional time to have a conversation as a board, and then certainly with the health professionals in town."

TCS also cautioned students and parents that staffing changes may occur in between semesters, meaning that a student may have a different teacher or schedule, depending on the final results of the opt-in. Parents will be notified of any staffing changes and subsequent schedule amendments by the end of this semester.

Tuscaloosa City Schools can not guarantee any student's placement until after the deadline for the request form.

The placement request form can be filled out online, here.

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