Parents/Community Members – we ask that you please read the below letter in its entirety as it contains important information about Pike County Schools’ August reopening. We expect to release our full plan on or before Friday, July 17, 2020. In the meantime we ask that you become familiar with the learning models that will be available to families next school term. We also ask that you please complete a survey (by July 31st) if you may be interested in taking advantage of the state managed virtual school. A link to this survey can be found at https://tinyurl.com/PCSSurvey2020.
June 17, 2020
Please read this letter in its entirety as it contains important information about Pike County Schools’ August reopening.
First, let me thank you for your support and understanding as we, both as a nation and community, responded to the unexpected invasion of COVID-19. I am very proud of the way our Pike County Schools’ students, parents, employees, as well as community leaders handled the challenges associated with this historic event. Last spring, our focus was to complete the school term while protecting everyone as we continued to educate and feed our students.
As you know, the COVID-19 situation is one that continues to evolve. As we progress through the summer and as this situation unfolds, Pike County Schools is prepared to make the necessary adjustments and take proactive steps to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can. To that end, we are aware you have concerns and questions related to how our schools plan to reopen in August 2020. The expected start date for students will be August 24, 2020. Be assured, as schools reopen, we will implement, to the best of our ability, safety recommendations offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama Department of Public Health, and Alabama Department of Education.
We have been working diligently on the reopening plan for Pike County Schools. As you can imagine, many factors are under consideration which must go into such a plan and we are awaiting technical guidance needed to plan as effectively as possible. We expect to release our plan on or before Friday, July
17, 2020. While our desire is to return to our traditional learning environment, we know this may not be possible. As it stands now, the following learning models will be available to families next school term:
1. Traditional Learning Model – Schools will open with enhanced safety precautions in place such as increased hand sanitizer availability, increased frequency of cleaning of high touch areas, limited visitation to campuses, face coverings, and social distancing. This approach mitigates the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
2. Blended (Hybrid) Learning Model – This model will be a combination of distance and face-to-face instruction and will be offered in a variety of configurations. This approach is necessary to insure that both students and staff are acclimated to distance learning in the event schools should need to close for a short or long-term duration. Irrespective of COVID-19 status, all students will
have a degree of exposure to this blended model.
3. Full Virtual (Distance) Learning Model – This approach involves student being enrolled in one of two virtual options:
The first option will be managed by Pike County Schools. All students would participate in the learning of new material, continue standards pacing, interactive lessons, graded assignments, and assessments in a virtual environment in the event schools close for a short or long-term duration.
The second option will be managed by the Alabama Department of Education. This option is for parents who may opt not to send students to school buildings in August, irrespective of COVID19 status.*
All students would participate in the learning of new material, continue standards pacing, interactive lessons, graded assignments, and assessments in a virtual environment.
*For planning purposes, if you think you may be interested in taking advantage of the state managed virtual school, please use this link to respond to a survey (no later than July 31st): https://tinyurl.com/PCSSurvey2020.
If you are unable to use this link to respond to the survey, please call 334-566-1850 and ask for Diana Whitaker. She will take the same information from you by phone.
Regardless of which of the three models students participate in, they will remain enrolled in Pike County Schools and continue to be entitled to all the rights, benefits, and privileges afforded to our students.
I encourage our parents to frequently visit our webpage and follow our social media platforms for up-to-date and accurate information. Everyone must understand there is no way for us to please everyone as these decisions are made. However, our priority is to keep everyone safe while not making life more
difficult for our parents. We understand that each family situation is unique. We fully understand your varied concerns about health and safety, distance learning, the importance of face-to-face instruction, your need to work, the economy, and all of the other unexpected consequences of children being in school buildings versus not being in school buildings. If we cannot be in a traditional school situation, our goal and pledge to you is to find the best way to safely and efficiently provide instruction to our students.
Additionally, as we move forward, we are also taking into consideration that we have medically compromised students. Parents of students with a higher risk of severe illness can contact their school administration to discuss any concerns. In July, school administrators will finalize individual plans for students with medical needs in cooperation with parents of these students.
We appreciate your continued support of Pike County Schools and your positivity as we strive to do what is in the best interest of ALL of our students and employees during this unprecedented, challenging time.
Thank you for being a trusted partner in your child’s education.
Mark Bazzell, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Education
Pike County Schools