The Muscle Shoals City School System is altering its back to school plans.
Superintendent Chad Holden says students from kindergarten through twelfth grade now will be split into two groups.
Holden said after consulting with local doctors, hospitals, and other officials it's just not safe to have the entire student body back in class at the same time.
So, they have decided to do an alternating schedule.
One group will attend in-person classes Mondays and Wednesdays, and attend virtual classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The other group will attend in-person classes Tuesdays and Thursdays, and attend virtual classes on Mondays and Wednesdays.
All students will attend virtual classes on Fridays.
The school system said individual schools will communicate the specific plans for when students will attend traditional school.
As of now, this format will be in effect from the first day of school on Aug. 20 through the end of the month. The only remote learning day will be August 28th.
"Right now we just made the decision to do that through the end of August with the hopes that by Sept. 1 things are a bit more normal, but we may do it longer than that,” Holden said.
“It all depends on our local situation as far as our hospitals and (coronavirus) numbers."
Holden said each school's principal and staff are making lists of students who will be in either group.
He said so far about 17 percent of parents have chosen to go virtual-only.
That, coupled with the alternating schedule, means about half the student population will be on campus at the same time.
This will help the district have smaller class sizes and apply social distancing to keep students and staff members safe. Keep in mind this alternating schedule is only the first week of school. School officials said they will be keeping an eye on the coronavirus sitaution in the Shoals and communicate those plans with parents.
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Find back to school information for every North Alabama system HERE