Latest Update from TCSS on School Closure and Monitoring and Prevention of COVID-19
April 5, 2020
Let me begin by saying that our entire staff of over 2,200 educators shares your great disappointment in being unable to complete the 2019-2020 school year within our buildings and working closely with your children. The final nine weeks period is one that is filled with many extensions of learning through field trips, culminating activities from units of study, athletic contests, fine arts performances, awards programs, proms, and yes, senior graduation. In order to be able to support student learning at home for this final period, our school system has developed our TCSS Academic Continuity Plan. (Please click the linked file to see the entire plan.)
As our school system team has met and developed these plans and considered the last nine weeks of the year, we realize that our planning must extend much further. Please know that our efforts are being focused on three phases of work.
- Providing educational resources to all families and a plan for all to complete the 2019-2020 academic year in the best manner possible.
- Preparing for summer learning opportunities for students who may have fallen behind or need that extra attention to be ready for the 2020-2021 school year. At this time, we have no way of knowing whether or not we will be allowed to provide any type of summer programs. However, although summer learning opportunities may be limited, plans are being developed in the event we are able to do so.
- Designing intensive efforts for the 2020-2021 school year. This includes quick and early assessments of students upon their return; focuses instruction on critical content standards; provides timely intervention as needed; and maximizes instructional time. Fortunately, our instructional work in the Tuscaloosa County School System is guided through professional learning communities of teachers who already understand the strength of collaboration and planning in content-alike teams. This work will allow our teachers to close gaps and recover lost instructional time as we return to school this fall.
A high priority in our planning has been for seniors in the Class of 2020. There is specific information for seniors who will be deemed to have completed all requirements of the Alabama State Department of Education for graduation and how we will work to assist those who may not be on track to graduate. Information about graduation ceremonies is also includes in our Academic Continuity Plan.
Parents and families, let me say how much we appreciate you, your children, and the support you give our schools every day. While we may not be ending the school year as any of us had hoped, I am confident that we will come out on the other side of this event stronger and our children will have a very bright future. Thank you for your patience and please continue to practice safe and healthy habits during this critical period.
Walter W. Davie, Ed.D.