Birmingham City Schools returning to in-person instruction starting in November

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FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020, file photo, custodial staffer Hortensia Salinas uses an Electrostatic Clorox Sprayer to spray disinfectant in a classroom at Brownsville Early College High School in Brownsville, Texas. Closing schools to combat the spread of the coronavirus is having a sweeping impact on an annual rite of spring: the standardized tests that are dreaded by millions of students and teachers alike. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP, File)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Teachers and students in Birmingham City Schools will soon return to the classroom as the school system prepares for a safe return.

Starting Monday, Oct. 26, BCS faculty, staff and support teams will return to assigned work stations and follow their typical schedule, according to Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan.

Students from Pre-K through 8th grade and special needs students will return Nov. 9. High school students will return Nov. 16.

“… the relative risks related to the spread of COVID-19 versus the benefits of in-person instruction for secondary schools shifted to the point that it is now reasonable to consider a more flexible approach going forward,” Dr. Mark Wilson, Jefferson County Health Officer, said.

In making the decision to return to in-person classroom instruction, BCS considered the experience from other local systems where in-person teaching and learning has resumed shows successful models for returning to school with safe and efficient operations, Sullivan said.

During in-person instruction, students and staff will adhere to COVID-19 precautions, post precautions throughout all facilities, work with the public health department and identify cases and contacts so they can be isolated.

BCS will apply a blended teaching and learning model:

  • Group A students will attend in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Group B students will attend in-person classes Thursdays and Fridays.

About 40% of BCS parents indicated in a survey that they prefer virtual learning, Sullivan said. They will still be able to continue with that option.

For more, watch the full “Return to School” video here.


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