Tuscaloosa City Schools to Require Face Masks for Students Ages 9 and Up
The Tuscaloosa City School System released its initial draft of a plan for the 2020-2021 academic school year on Monday, July 13th.
TCS is providing parents with the option of participating in virtual learning or allowing their children to return to a traditional classroom. Extra and co-curricular activities such as International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, high school dual enrollment, and access to ELEVATE will still be included regardless of the option parents select. Children currently enrolled in a private, parochial, or home school also have the option to participate in Tuscaloosa City Schools' learning options.
The school district says its goal is to prepare for a return to the classroom with the start of the school year on August 20th; however, TCS is planning for uncertainty in the days ahead as a result of the novel Coronavirus.
Students ages 9 and older will be required to wear face masks when in school and are strongly encourages for kids eight and under.
TCS is planning additional cleaning measures and is working to create staggered schedules for student breakfast and lunch periods to ensure students and faculty can practice social distancing. Buses will be subject to daily cleaning and sanitizing measures, and plans also include additional cleaning for all school buildings.
Parents who choose the option of sending their children to a traditional classroom should be aware that COVID-19 could result in periods of quarantine, explaining its procedures in its 2020-2021 plan:
Upon receipt of diagnosis, Tuscaloosa City Schools will notify parents of students who were in "close contact" with the individual with the confirmed case. Alabama Department of Public Health defines close contact as anyone who has been a) within 6 feet for b) at least 15 minutes. By this definition, all individuals who participate in a class together (students and adults) are subject to quarantine. Students quarantine will automatically be provided virtual instruction during the time of their absence from school. Following the diagnosis, TCS will use CDC and state guidance regarding deep cleaning of classrooms and/or building, closure of classrooms or school for some period of time.
Parents can share their questions about and thoughts on the Tuscaloosa City Schools plan HERE.