Virtual students pick up supplies for school in Arab

Superintendent Johnny Berry said he wants virtual students to know that, other than how they are learning, they are the same as those headed back to the classroom.

Posted: Aug 13, 2020 8:38 PM

Many Arab City Schools students on Thursday picked up the supplies they will need to embark on a remote learning plan this school year.

Some students were happy to see some familiar faces.

"I’m glad to come over here to see the teachers, and I really miss them because I haven’t seen them in awhile," said Mingyue Tian, 12th grader.

Tian says he discussed both options with his parents, but in the end he chose to complete his senior year online.

"My mom was like, you know, you should do the online school because it’s safer and much better way to learn the stuff," he said.

Superintendent Johnny Berry said he wants virtual students to know that, other than how they are learning, they are the same as those headed back to the classroom.

"They are just as important and their education is just as important to us as those who are sitting in front of us. Their parents had to make a tough decision and we respect that decision and we just want them to know that we’re there for them and we’re going to do everything we can to make this process as smooth as possible," he said.

"It will be kinda different for me because I didn’t get a chance to see my friends in school," said Tian.

We know more about why Arab City Schools pushed back its start date.

The school district decided to start with a hybrid schedule which is part of the reason why Berry pushed the start date back.

"In order to maintain a six-foot social distance, we felt like we needed to go to an a hybrid-type schedule. So, we'll have students A through K on our campus Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday we will deep clean, and on Thursday Friday students with last names beginning L through Z will be on campus," said Berry.

Berry said the district will then look at the plan and possibly re-evaluate it after the Labor Day weekend.

He hopes parents understand these changes and is working to help everyone adapt.

"We wanted to give our parents time to get child care because we knew this was an issue. It gave us time to do some planning, to help with childcare. We're working with our local churches and pastors to try to find some solutions that are reasonable and affordable to our parents to be able to do. We also wanted to give our teachers a little more time to train because they are going to have to do some different things," said Berry.

Both traditional and virtual students will start on Aug. 20.

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