Director's Message - UPDATED 7/9


Parents and Guardians,
As things continue to change we continue to adjust our protocols to ensure that we are taking every precaution in order to reopen schools safely in the coming weeks. Using the guidance of the state and local health officials we have made a couple of changes. The first is our mask policy. We are now saying that in grades 6-12 face masks are strongly encouraged and expected for students when in close proximity to other students or staff. Examples of this are during transition times, group work, or times when there are gatherings of students. While this will not be part of our dress code policy, teachers and administrators will be prompting and reminding students when appropriate. Teachers in grades K-5 will work to keep students in small cohorts and as distanced as possible. However, these students are encouraged to wear face masks on buses and during times where they will be around large groups such as transition times. For any student or staff who needs a mask one will be provided.
It’s a very unsettling time for all of us, but rest assured that we continue to monitor what plan will work best for our students and staff. With this in mind, our second change is adding an extra week to our staggered schedule. So the first 10 days of school will be staggered for our students system wide. It will look like this:
  • July 22nd, 29th A-C
  • July 23rd, 30th D-H
  • July 24th, 31st I-P
  • July 27th, August 3rd Q-S
  • July 28th, August 4th T-Z
By adding an extra week it gives students and staff more time to acclimate to our safety protocols and allows us to do this with small class sizes. Now, and after we return, we will continue to monitor the situation within our schools, county and state to drive our decisions.
Please note that this staggered schedule is different from that of the Pre K and Kindergarten stagger days. Please contact the elementary school if you have any questions about your pre k or kindergarten staggered schedule.
Just a reminder that we will offer bus services as normal but encourage you to transport your child to school if possible in order to keep numbers down on our buses. If your child is in grades K-5 you must be at the bus stop with your child in the event that they have a temperature and must return home. If your child is in grade 6-12 you do not have to be at the bus stop with your child IF you are comfortable with your child returning home alone in the event they have a temperature.
I’d like to remind you to visit our district website to look at educational options for your child. The deadline for choosing our Virtual Learning Academy is July 10th. You will also find our COVID 19 management protocols here. If you have any questions please contact your child’s respective school. Times are tough, but we will get through this together. Please let us know if you have any questions and do not hesitate to contact us. We appreciate you and look forward to being back together in the next couple of weeks. Thank you, have a wonderful afternoon and Go Tornadoes!
Rebecca Stone
Director, Alcoa City Schools
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