• 43°

Chilton County Schools adds more eLearning days for January

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Chilton County Schools has added additional eLearning days after the already scheduled Christmas/ New Year break.

Superintendent Jason Griffin has announced that Jan. 5-8 will be eLearning days and that students will return to in-person instruction on Jan. 11.

“The purpose is to reduce the number of individuals on campuses during the expected holiday surge of COVID cases,” Griffin said in a press release. “Employees will return to work as scheduled on Monday, Jan. 4 for teacher in-service and work on campus Jan. 5-8 to oversee eLearning.”

As of Dec. 11, the school system had 35 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past week.

The school system had already added more eLearning days to the calendar in effort to help teachers who had both online and virtual students.

On Dec. 1, Gov. Kay Ivey had issued a statement urging school systems to have in-person learning.

“Due to COVID-19, 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for everyone, especially for our parents, teachers and students,” Ivey said. “I’m extremely grateful for the flexibility everyone has shown as they have adapted to virtual instruction. However, virtual and remote instruction are stop-gap measures to prevent our students from regressing academically during the pandemic. These practices cannot — and should not — become a permanent part of instructional delivery system in 2021. As we are learning more about COVID-19, we are seeing more and more clear evidence pointing out that our students are safe in the classroom with strong health protocols in place.”

She listed concerns about how students not learning now could have negative impact in later years.

“As we begin the holiday season and contemplate a return to a normalcy in 2021, I strongly urge our education leadership on both the state and local levels to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible,” Ivey said.

Since that statement was released, Ivey has extended the Safer-At-Home order through Jan. 22

Following social distancing requirements and the mask order have been emphasized in Chilton County Schools and will continue to be emphasized as long as they remain in effect, according to the school system’s COVID-19 original opening plan.