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Updated parent letter from Garth Moss 7-1-2020

July 1, 2020 (updated letter from Garth Moss,
Thomasville school superintendent):

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are very excited to begin the 2020-2021 school year. We understand that we will face many trials and challenges as we move forward. We look forward to working through those issues with you as we finalize our plan to provide a safe and instructionally sound plan for reopening Thomasville City Schools.
State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey and his staff released the ALSDE Roadmap to Reopening Schools on Friday, June 26. We will use this guide as we make plans moving forward. While looking through all of the available guidance and information, the ultimate decisions we make will always be based on the physical and mental well-being of Thomasville students, faculty, and staff.
We will continue to share details of our reopening as they become available over the next few weeks. Below are some important things to consider as we move forward:

School will start on August 17 with 2 options:

Option 1: Traditional (face to face)

Option 2: Remote
(a) Students in grades K-8 will work online from home while teachers regularly check-in and provide virtual instruction.
Students in grades 9-12 can choose to enroll in ACCESS classes which will allow them to work at their own pace from home and will have an online teacher provided through the ACCESS platform. Students who choose the ACCESS option must remain on that option the entire semester.
(b) The second Remote option for grades 9-12 is the THS Remote Option. The THS Remote option will be taught by Thomasville High School Teachers and will require the student to log on virtually every day during the scheduled class times.
This is not a commitment for the entire school year, as we will establish checkpoints where families can choose to return to traditional learning. Students will not be allowed to return to traditional learning at any time they choose. Please understand that full-time remote instruction will require a greater daily time commitment than was experienced during the abrupt closure in 2019-2020.

Please note that students who choose Traditional learning will have a Blended opportunity in place where students can transition between traditional and remote and back again. This prospect is crucial should we need to close a classroom/school for cleaning and disinfecting and/or if your child needs to stay home for an extended amount of time. Students choosing Remote learning will only be allowed to return to Traditional schooling at certain times established by the Board.

An online registration form will be forthcoming from each school. We ask that families decide if remote learning will be desired by July 20.

Should current rates of COVID-19 remain within the city of Thomasville, students in Thomasville City Schools will begin face-to-face classroom instruction on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. With that being said, the decisions that are being made today are fluid and subject to change based on infection rates within the Thomasville community.
In July, we will release specific precautionary measures for implementation. This will be based on the ongoing monitoring of the infection rates in Thomasville. Please know that there is no foolproof plan that can be developed. Our school administrators and central office staff have met and will continue to meet to prepare for school opening and details will be presented in mid-July. We will post an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document where parents can review commonly asked questions with answers and submit original questions to be answered.

One of the greatest attributes of the Thomasville City School System has always been the collaborative effort of parents, teachers, administrators, community members, and most importantly students. It will take this continued team effort as we partner to work through what will potentially be the most challenging school year we have ever faced.
In closing, I am reminded of a speech that President John F. Kennedy gave in September 1962. He said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because the goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” Teachers did not go into this work because it is easy, but because they are passionate about shaping the futures of children. This is our moon mission!
We are Thomasville Strong!

Garth Moss