By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
PELHAM – As the battle against COVID-19 nears the five-month mark, that also means the start of the 2020-2021 school year is closing in for many, but after a suggestion from State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey to push the start date back to around Aug. 20, many schools are following suit.
The latest to do so and first school system in Shelby County to move its start date is Pelham City Schools, who announced on Tuesday, July 7, that the school year would no longer begin on the original date of Aug. 6. Instead, it will now start on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
“We’re currently working on a revised calendar for the school year, and that calendar will be revised at our July board meeting,” PCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield said in a letter.
In addition to the change in start date, Coefield said the school system would share the reopening plans with parents and the community by July 16, which will include traditional in-school option and a virtual remote option for those who will prefer a home setting.
Coefield also said they are working on an approach that would provide a blended approach to learning where necessary.
“The details about learning options and other school operations will be provided in the comprehensive plan that we will share by July 16,” he said. “When the plan is distributed, we will ask that you take the time to review the plan and learning options, and we will provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and convey feedback.”
Parents will be asked to choose their preferred learning option for the student or students that need education by the end of the day on July 20.
“We’ll need everyone to complete your selection by the deadline because our next phases of planning and school operations will be based on numbers of students who select each learning option,” Coefield said. “Once the feeback and learning option selections are assessed, plan revisions will be made if necessary, and we will submit a final plan at the July 27 Board of Education meeting.”
Coefield said he appreciates the patience and flexibility of parents as they plan for a school year that will be like no other.