Ozark City students start online learning September 8th
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -
In the last 24 hours Ozark City Schools have made some big changes regarding the 2020-2021 school year.
Two thousand Ozark City School students were preparing to start their first day next week but after a special called board meeting they will have to wait another month.
“That was approved, our official start date will now be September 8th and we will start and continue until further notice really, a total one hundred percent remote environment for the students,” Rick McInturf, superintendent of Ozark City Schools said.
All students from kindergarten to 12th grade will participate in remote learning. Knowing that can cause challenges for primary grades, the Ozark City staff have developed a plan.
“Invite children into the schools in small groups. We can provide transportation if necessary but if students need to come in for a little bit of face to face time with the teacher, we can make that happen just in very small groups, where we can distance the kids appropriately and keep them safe,” McInturf said.
For parents who are questioning how they will be able to work and make sure their child is completing assignments. Well, a plan is in the works with the schools and the boys and girls club.
“Basically to service what they normally have as their after school population and allow those kids to come to the club earlier in the day, with that time being devoted to virtual or remote learning. Providing the appropriate software and computers and things like that,” McInturf said.
These changes come from the rising COVID-19 numbers in dale county, the current mask mandate, the availability of substitute teachers and the new internet voucher, where students who qualify for free or reduced lunch will receive the voucher.
“Were in a little community where there’s good internet service but not every family can afford that. Once that gets in place, that will be a great benefit because now you wont have to worry about hotpots and other ways to get around internet access. So that’s another reason why we kind of delayed until September the 8th,” McInturf said.
Superintendent McInturf says the Dale County COVID-19 numbers will determine how long students will have to partake in remote learning.
Ozark City School superintendent says the remote learning will have no effect on athletics.
On August 3rd the Ozark City Board of Education approved a delay to the start of school for students until after Labor Day on September 8th.
The decision was made due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the mask mandate extension in the state of Alabama and the availability of the internet voucher program to qualify households before September 1st.
On September 8th all Ozark City students will begin using a remote form of online learning. Students will continue to work in this setting until further notice.
On occasions where a student needs to travel to school for an assignment, meeting, or help from a teacher or staff member, school buses will be available to bring the student to school if needed. The travel will be done in small groups to help with social distancing.
The final day of school is predicted to be no later than June 4th, 2021.
Teachers will be in contact with their students and families to provide additional information on this upcoming school year.
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