Owl Creek Elementary / Courtesy photo
Fayetteville Public Schools will offer a choice between traditional in-person classes and virtual off-site learning for the 2020-21 school year.
Superintendent John L. Colbert announced the news in a letter on Thursday.
Colbert said the district solicited feedback from parents, teachers, community members, and others to develop the plan, which is outlined in an information packet that includes details of what each option might look like.
Parents and guardians have until July 10 to complete a survey notifying the district which option they prefer.
According to the packet, if schools are allowed to re-open with little or no restriction, the district will resume traditional in-person classes that can transition to online learning if necessary. Under this option, students would attend classes as normal, but with safety precautions in place to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Face coverings and daily self-screenings will be required for staff and students who attend in-person classes.
The district listed several other precautions and preparations being made in advance of the school year. For example, teachers have been encouraged to clean out their classrooms and take home personal belongings to create as much space as possible in classrooms to separate desks as much as feasible. Visitors will not be allowed to come for lunch at school, and programs that include large gatherings will be suspended until the Centers for Disease Control changes its guidance recommendations.
Official said virtual students will address the same key skills and concepts as the in-person students, and will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities and other events.
The virtual option will utilize a web-based curriculum, Google Classroom, online assessments, games, and interactive tools. A device for home use will be provided, according to the document. Students must participate in the virtual environment daily, meaning attendance will be taken, but schedules can be adjusted to meet individual needs.
Enrollment in the virtual option will be for a minimum of one semester and will be extended to the full year unless a parent or guardian notifies the student’s principal by Nov. 13, 2020.
Officials said virtual learning is different from the AMI assignments that students had in the spring. Through the virtual option, students will be provided with a class schedule and instruction in grade-level content from a licensed Fayetteville Public Schools teacher.
Families who opt for virtual learning should plan to have Wi-Fi available, but there is no other cost for this option.
“While this is a new and challenging time for us all, we look forward to working together to provide a wonderful learning experience, rich with educational opportunity, joy, and new experiences for your children,” said Colbert.
The first day of school is Thursday, August 13