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Early County Schools transition to 4 day a week instruction

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 4:11 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -

Early County Schools have made the switch from a hybrid to traditional approach for their classrooms, a decision that seems to be benefitting both the teachers and students.

Early County Schools are going on week 2 of their newest approach, resuming face to face instruction 4 days a week.

“The teachers are glad to have the students back. we were able initially we the hybrid schedule to teach everyone rituals and routines and how to safely social distance. We brought everyone back last Tuesday, we have about 435 on roll and we have about 335 here in the building, so we had a great response from parents," Angela Bell, Early County Middle School principal said.

Students still get the option to attend virtually or in a hybrid setting but the school system saw an overwhelming response of families asking to make the switch.

“I’ll just be honest and I’d say this is around the state probably around the country but the majority of our virtual kids are really struggling. So they really need that face to face interaction, they need that structure, they need that feedback from teachers, they need that personal interaction that they get. Virtual just doesn’t cut it," Bronwyn Ragan-Martin, Early County Schools superintendent said.

Students and staff are in a traditional setting Monday through Thursday with Friday’s dedicated to virtual learning.

“Once a month everybody has to leave at lunch time so that we can get in and really deep clean and disinfect. The other Friday’s, teachers are planning, they’re working with virtual kids, they’re doing professional learning, they’re trying to catch up and kind of catch their breath also to kind of regroup for the next week," Ragan-Martin said.

A change staff hopes will benefit students and their families in the long run.

“We certainly hope to close those gaps that were caused by the immediate shutdown if schools so to speak and we hope to have all students back on grade level. But that’s what we hope to have and I also hope that we continue to have a safe environment for children and an environment that parents continue to want to send their students here,” Bell said.

Early County Schools are still requiring students to wear masks and facial coverings.

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