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School announces shift to distance learning model for start of school year

Superintendent Tim Cochran penned a letter to faculty, staff, parents and students on Friday, announcing the Decatur County School System would shift to a distance-learning environment on August 12 through August 28, at a minimum.

Cochran’s letter stated the following:

“As we approach the start of our school year, I know everyone is filled with excitement and anticipation. We ended the previous school year under strange conditions and we will apparently be starting this year under those same constraints.  We understand the importance that a normal school year has for our students and their families. We believe most students learn best in the school environment and it has been our goal all summer to provide that environment to the families that choose that option. However, we must be able to provide a safe environment for our students and our staff. COVID-19 has certainly been a challenge. We continue to work with our local health officials, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Education, and the Governor’s office to keep apprised of the most current conditions in our county and our area. It has been our goal all along to have school face to face if it was safe to do so and if the conditions prevented that from happening we would shift to a distance-learning environment.

Based on our most recent meeting with our Public Health officials the decision has been made to start our school year August 12th, with Distance Learning. We will operate in a Distance Learning environment through August 28th , at a minimum. From now until August 28th, we will continue to monitor our local conditions and if those conditions allow we will move back to a face to face approach. We will keep you updated along the way and try to give you as much advance notice, as possible.

We know the huge impact this has on our students and our families. We want our students back in our buildings; but, we must make sure we can do that safely. At this time, the current conditions and guidelines do not make this a possibility. 

The schools will be reaching out to you and working with you to make this transition as smooth as possible. They will be issuing devices, online class schedules, and also instructional packets for those that need them. Buses will be used to deliver instructional packets and meals to specific drop spots throughout the county. We will be providing more information on those drop spots in the next few days. For the students that signed up for Remote Learning, nothing will change with your schedule. This change to distance learning only impacts students who were planning to attend face to face instruction.

Please be patient with us as we work through this together and communicate with your child’s school if you have any questions. “

Throughout the coming days, The Post-Searchlight will be printing all updated information on drop spots and how to receive issues devices and online schedules.