Sylacauga Town Schools Switch to Online Learning Jan. 5-7


SYLACAUGA, Alabama (WBRC) – Schools in the city of Sylacauga will switch to e-learning days Jan. 5-7 due to an increase in COVID cases.

“This decision was not taken lightly and is based on the high positivity rate reported by the medical community over the holiday weekend,” said Superintendent Dr. Michele Eller. “We understand this is a problem for some parents. However, in making the decision now, families have time to adjust their schedules. The symptoms of the Omicron variant of COVID look so much like a cold that there is a great risk that people will carry the virus and not know it. Considering the upsurge here in our community after the holiday gatherings, this is the reasonable course of action to protect our students and teachers from exposure. “

Symptoms of Omicron include a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, and fatigue.

Schools in the town of Sylacauga will also require face coverings Jan. 3-7 for all employees. In addition, face coverings will be strongly encouraged for spectators of all indoor extracurricular activities, including basketball games.

“I am well aware, as an educator, that students learn best when they are face to face with their teachers, but we cannot deny the fact that this variant is highly transmissible and evolves rapidly. We will be monitoring the positivity rate daily and hope things start to improve by the end of the week, ”Eller said.

Schools and teachers will communicate with parents through the School Status platform implemented last semester. This will give parents relevant information specific to each school.

With e-learning days coinciding with the start of the new semester, many students may not have the necessary devices or materials at home to begin their work. Schools in the town of Sylacauga will have a drive-through pickup station where parents can come to schools on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday mornings to view Chromebooks (6-8) and / or educational kits (K-5 ). Parents will be notified of pickup times through the state of the school. This will not apply to Sylacauga High as they have issued devices.

When parents pick up Chromebooks and / or packages on Wednesday, they will also be able to receive meals to give to their children for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday throughout the E-Learning Days.

Eller added, “Our teachers will be working very hard the next couple of days to prepare lesson plans and folders for online learning time. Some classes will come together as planned via Zoom or other digital formats. While we want this to end as quickly as possible, it’s important to understand that the dates for wearing face covers or learning online could possibly change based on the COVID positivity numbers for our community. We will use all means of communication possible to keep our families and teachers informed. “

Be sure to follow the Sylacauga Town Schools website and the District Facebook page for information.

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Norma A. Roth