Alabaster traditional learners going back to 5 days per week

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

ALABASTER – After an encouraging start to the 2020-2021 school year featuring a low number of COVID-19 cases, Alabaster City Schools has made the decision to send traditional learners back to school five days per week.

Originally, students A-L were going on Monday and Tuesday each week and M-Z were going Thursday and Friday of each week with Wednesdays used as a cleaning day.

Now, those who are taking part in traditional in-person learning will do so all five days of the week instead of using the staggered schedule.

“Since school began on August 19, we have encountered a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases and feel our efforts to mitigate the spread of this virus have been successful thus far,” Alabaster City Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers said in a release to parents. “As a result, I am pleased to announce that traditional learners will resume on-campus instruction five days per week.”

The change will occur on Monday, Sept. 14.

Schools and offices in the school system will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7, in observance of Labor Day. Then, Group A students will return for classes on Sept. 8 -9, while Group B students will attend in-person Sept. 10-11.

That Friday, Sept. 11, will mark the final day of splitting between two days of virtual education and two days of in-person education, with Monday, Sept. 14, marking the start of the new schedule where all students not choosing the full virtual option will return to the classroom each day.

“We have experienced an encouraging start to the 2020-2021 academic year,” Vickers said. “I would like to thank our students, parents, and employees for their patience, particularly in recent weeks, as we navigated the A/B schedule on our five campuses.”

Students enrolled in the ACS Champions’ Virtual Academy will continue their studies without interruption with the exception of Labor Day.

The school system said it will continue its diligent efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on campuses.

Masks will still be required for all students and employees, while the the school will continue to have enhance cleaning protocols in place.

ACS did say it will be difficult to follow the same social distancing protocols that were in place with half the students there, but the goal is to still do so as much as possible.

“The Alabaster City School System is committed to providing a safe school environment for our students and employees, and we look forward to transitioning our campuses to a newer sense of normalcy,” Vicker said. “We will continue to follow guidelines from the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama State Department of Education, and Governor Kay Ivey. As always, we appreciate your support as we navigate this unprecedented event.”