TCSS to Shift to A/B Schedule Beginning Monday, December 14

  • From the Office of the Superintendent

    December 8, 2020

    To Our TCSS Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff,

    As you know, providing in-person instruction for our students has been and continues to be the goal of the Tuscaloosa County School System. We are immensely thankful for the hard work of our educators, who have made this possible since August. For our final week of school for the semester, the Tuscaloosa County School System will shift to an A/B Schedule for On-Campus Learners. This will take effect Monday, December 14.

    The decision to shift to an A/B Schedule is due to the growing number of classroom teacher absences and lack of substitutes we are currently experiencing. This has been a challenge for our schools throughout the semester. However, the severity of the situation has recently increased, with greater absence numbers, spread across more schools at one time. While we have worked to develop the largest substitute pool our system has ever had, the same quarantine and isolation issues that are impacting our employees are impacting substitute availability. An A/B Schedule will allow our On-Campus Learners to still receive some in-person instruction, but in numbers that are manageable under our current staffing situation. While we need to reduce our student numbers due to staffing issues, we still believe the safety precautions we take in our schools are effective in fighting the spread of COVID-19. The reduced student numbers next week will also allow increased social distancing.

    The A/B schedule will impact On-Campus Learners. TCSS Remote Learners are not impacted by this schedule and should continue under the direction of their Remote Learning Coach and teachers.

    Schools will let students know if they are in A Group or B Group. As outlined in our Reopening Our Schools plan, students in the same household will be in the same group, even if their students are in different schools. Students are in the group as assigned by their school and may not select a different group. The schedule for each group will be as follows:

    A Group

    Monday, December 14 & Tuesday, December 15: Attend School On-Campus

    Wednesday, December 16 & Thursday, December 17: Remote Learning Days

    B Group

    Monday, December 14 & Tuesday, December 15: Remote Learning Days

    Wednesday, December 16 & Thursday, December 17: Attend School On-Campus

    All TCSS Students

    Friday, December 18: Remote Learning Day for All TCSS Students

    Extended Day programs (both before and after school) will not be available the week of December 14.

    Students should not report to school on their scheduled Remote Learning Days. Teachers will provide information about assignments for these days. Access to an electronic device will not be required to complete assignments for Remote Learning Days.

    This change in our schedule for the final week of school will impact the schedule for school activities and exams. Your school will communicate directly with you about how events will be rescheduled or adjusted. High schools will still have exams next week, and exam schedules will be adjusted so that students will be able to take their exams on the days they are on campus.   

    Transportation will run as normal from December 14 – December 17. Students should ride their normal bus route on their on-campus days.

    School meals will also be provided as normal for students December 14 – December 17. Students will receive school meals on their on-campus days. Students may also receive meals for their Remote Learning Days. Families should come to a Remote Learner Meal Pick-Up Location on Monday, December 14, from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. to pick up these meals. Please visit the link below for more information, for pick-up locations, and to reserve your meals. The meal reservation deadline is Thursday, December 10, at Noon. A reservation is necessary, so our Child Nutrition Staff knows how many meals to prepare.

    Meal Reservation Form

    Our faculty/staff is scheduled to return to school for second semester on January 4, 2021, and students are scheduled to return on January 5, 2021. There are currently no changes to our second semester schedule, and providing in-person instruction remains the goal and intention of the Tuscaloosa County School System.

    We ask you to please stay connected to all the ways you receive official information from your school. Schools will soon be communicating information with families on how our schedule change will impact schedules for school activities, exams, etc. We know our shift to an A/B Schedule will create a challenge for many of our families, but this is a change that is necessary under our current conditions.

    We ask our entire TCSS community to stay vigilant about health-promoting habits. Also, our educators always work hard for our students, but this year has posed a challenge like none other. Students and families, as we bring our semester to a close, please take time to show appreciation to the teachers, administrators, and all other staff members at your school. It is because of their dedication that we have been able to continue serving our students and keep our schools open this year.