Pelham City Schools to open year on staggered schedule

By ALEC ETHEREDGEE | Managing Editor

PELHAM – Due to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s recommendations of students being 6 feet apart throughout the school day, schools have been forced to change how school will start this year, and Pelham City Schools is the latest system to make the change.

PCS announced on Thursday, Aug. 6, that they would be opening the 2020-2021 school year with a staggered schedule for the first four weeks of school, joining Alabaster City and Shelby County schools.

“While our plans to start school were developed with the intent of providing our students and families with options for traditional, blended or remote learning, recommendations from the ADPH were released this week that necessitate a change in our plans for those families who have selected the traditional or blended Learning option,” said Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield in a letter to parents.

The school system will be shifting into Contingency Plan A, which is a staggered schedule start that will split students into groups who have selected the traditional or blended option.

One group of students will attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other group on Thursdays and Fridays, while Wednesdays will be used for teacher planning, meetings and cleaning schools.

Students will still be required to take part in at-home learning on those days they are not on campus, either Monday through Wednesday or Wednesday through Friday. Those sessions will be led by the student’s classroom teacher or teachers through Google Classroom and other remote learning platforms according to PCS.

Students with last names that begin with A-L will be the Green Group and will attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays in person, while doing remote learning the rest of the week.

Students with last names M-Z will be the Gold Group and will attend school Thursdays and Fridays in person and will take part in remote learning during the first three days of the week.

If you have students with a different last name living in your residence that would attend on different  days, they will all follow the same schedule as the Green Group.

During the first week of school, which starts on Wednesday, Aug. 19, the Green Group will attend in person on Wednesday and the Gold Group on Thursday with all students participating remotely on Friday.

The first full week of the staggered schedule will begin on Monday, Aug. 24.

For students that have chosen the blended learning option over the traditional, they will be required to attend a meeting on Friday, Aug. 21 from 8-10 a.m. in the auditorium.

“This decision was made with intense consideration of the many factors that we are facing,” Coefield said in his letter. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide the students of Pelham with a valuable educational experience while we continue to focus on the health  and well-being of our students, staff and community.”

For more information, visit Pelhamcityschools.org.