It has and always will be the goal of the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education to return to five days of on-campus instruction as soon as we believe it could be done safely. Thanks to the partnership of families, TCS has been able to provide teachers with additional planning time on Fridays while delivering asynchronous virtual learning. While we acknowledge this approach has caused additional hardships on families, it has provided our educators with the necessary time to plan for instruction, to balance the demands of virtual or hybrid teaching, and cover classes due to COVID-related absences.
To our families, we thank you for your patience and the immense support of our educators. These educators have done an amazing job teaching, transporting, feeding, and caring for our students.
Over recent weeks, we have seen the numbers of students and employees with positive diagnoses COVID-19 decline. We attribute that to the diligence of students and staff who were committed to the best practices of mask-wearing, hand hygiene, and social distancing to the extent possible.
Recently, educators in our community have begun receiving the COVID-19 vaccine through collaboration with DCH Regional Medical Center. While TCS educators are not required to get the vaccine, many have already done so or are in line to do so in the immediate future. We are very grateful for the work DCH has done to protect our faculty and staff.
These are the factors that are part of the consideration for the return to five days of instruction for this school year. It is our goal to announce a decision about March 2021 - May 2021 in the next two weeks.
Our educators understand that for many families, this year has been a challenge. That is why we are working hard to plan and offer a robust in-person summer learning program to help ensure our students stay on track. Our recent work with summer learning shows the benefits and successes of keeping children engaged over the summer. This summer will be no exception. In fact, it is as important and relevant as ever. Also, the school year 2021-2022 calendar is already approved, and we look forward to welcoming students back to in-person learning five days a week on August 20, 2021.
To our families, we thank you for your commitment to our children's education during these unprecedented times. Please look for additional communication regarding March-May 2021 in the next two weeks.