Surveys are still open for families in Morgan County Schools to decide between three learning options for students ahead of the district’s Aug. 12 start date.
Students can choose between traditional, remote/off-campus and virtual learning. But, no matter which option is chosen, all students will do some form of their schooling online.
Morgan County Schools Board Chairman John Holley says that all schools will close on Wednesdays to do thorough cleaning, which means traditional students learn from home this day. Holley says the decision to close schools on Wednesdays did not come easy due to childcare concerns for working parents.
“The Wednesday option and childcare was probably one of our greatest discussion points and concerns that we had, because we understand the problems that come along with working parents and childcare,” Holley said.
Holley says that the district will transition back to traditional schooling five days a week if possible.
“It’s our vision and I guess our hope that we can get a few Wednesdays under our belt and this thing will get better and we won't have to stick to having Wednesdays closed,” he said.
With the unpredictability of the school year, Holley says it’s also important that all students and their families work with the online materials in case of a change.
“We also feel like we need to have virtual Wednesdays because we need the students and the parents, even the ones that have chosen the traditional format, we need them to use those Wednesdays to become acclimated to virtual learning,” Holley said. “In case school has to go all the way to a virtual format again this year, we won’t be behind on moving that way.”
Holley says the district is looking at different ways of ensuring all students have access to the internet to complete online lessons, including WiFi in school parking lots and on a majority of school buses.
“We’re looking at how we can have the students bring their device, laptop, Chromebook, to the school and how we can download lessons-—an example is could we download 10 days’ worth of lessons, two weeks’ worth of lessons for them so they do not have to have WiFi,” Holley said.
Holley says that the district is asking parents to answer the survey on learning options by this week, but that surveys will be accepted up until the first day of school.