MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- The Mobile County Public School System is providing more information on its plans to begin the 2020-21 school year with remote learning.
MCPSS Superintendent Chresal Threadgill last week announced the system's plan for the beginning of the school year. With the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Mobile area and throughout the state still high, MCPSS will delay its opening date to Sept. 1 and will conduct the first quarter of the school year remotely to protect its students, teachers and staff.
The system will provide laptops to students who do not have them and will use an innovative online platform called Schoology to provide lessons, allowing for more interaction between teachers and students, according to plan details released today.
The situation will be re-evaluated at the end of the first quarter to determine the best path forward, according to MCPSS.
"I know this will not be easy on your family," Threadgill said in a message to parents. "Nothing about the past four months has been easy. I want you to know that I believe with my whole heart that this is the right thing to do. My hope is that if we do our part and not have children and adults congregating in our classrooms that we will flatten the curve and decrease the coronavirus numbers enough so that we can return to school for the second quarter."
Read Threadgill's complete message below:
Dear MCPSS Parents,
The health and safety of your children is my top priority as Superintendent of Mobile County Public Schools. This fact has been heavy on my heart for these past four months.
Superintendents across Alabama and across the country are making tough decisions about how to return to school, even as the number of coronavirus cases is higher than ever. We have to do what is right for our children and our employees, and we have to prioritize their health and safety above all else.
That is why Mobile County Public Schools has made the decision to start school on September 1. We will offer all instruction remotely so we can protect our children, our teachers, and our staff as much as possible during these difficult times. We will do remote instruction for the first quarter, which is nine weeks, and then we will re-evaluate our situation and decide what to do for the second quarter.
I look forward to the day that all of our students and teachers can gather in our buildings again. However, in looking at the data and in talking to health and education experts, now just does not seem like the right time.
I know this will not be easy on your family. Nothing about the past four months has been easy. I want you to know that I believe with my whole heart that this is the right thing to do. My hope is that if we do our part and not have children and adults congregating in our classrooms that we will flatten the curve and decrease the coronavirus numbers enough so that we can return to school for the second quarter.
We learned many things from our remote learning last spring, and we have used what we learned to come up with a plan for remote learning that we think will be more beneficial to our students and easier to use. Mobile County Public Schools will provide a laptop computer for your student(s), and we will use an innovative online platform known as Schoology that will allow for more interaction between the teachers and their students. We will be here to support you throughout the remote learning process.
We will reach out to you soon with more information about the remote learning. Meanwhile, I ask for your patience and your flexibility, and I thank you for your trust as I make decisions that impact 54,000 children and their families.
Together, we will get through this pandemic safely as the MCPSS Family.
Chresal D. Threadgill
Mobile County Public Schools