In a statement just released by Bibb County Schools Superintendent Duane McGee, hope and determination hold the spotlight, telling parents, “We can do this.” He refers to the giant challenge presented to educators and parents – and students – all across the state due to the statewide school closure being extended to the rest of the school year because of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing.
Governor Ivey announced yesterday that students would be returning to work from home to complete the 2019-2020 school year. This left many questions as to how, especially considering so much of the state has very little or no high speed internet access to homes. This holds true to Bibb County, where the majority do not have broadband in their homes.
Regardless, come April 6th, students and teachers will be back to work. In his statement, McGee acknowledges the internet shortcomings of the county, and says they are working to rectify that situation. For now, however, most students likely can count on the old-school method of distance education: take home packets.
“We will continue in the hours and days to come with more updates and informational messages on the specifics regarding the what, when, where, how, and why for these new learning parameters. We will be meeting with principals on Monday morning to finalize our ALSDE Academic Continuity Plan. You can expect much more information to follow.”
The regrettable situation for high school seniors comes in missing out on so many memory moments, such as plays, concerts, ball games, and even walking for graduation. The challenge for parents comes in suddenly having to be part time teacher, as well. McGee addressed these concerns and more, with an ever-present message of determination.
“We can do this. We will do this,” he said, calling on parents to rise to the challenge as they are forced to take an active role in their child’s education now, whether they normally do or not.
Students will, if they complete their work from home, be able to complete the school year and be promoted to the next grade. Seniors can still get their diplomas. There will be an extension of the school year to help everyone achieve the goal. Now, instead of May 21, roughly ten extra days are allowed to be sure everyone is able to complete necessary assignments.
“I’m confident that we can survive… as a county, a state, and a nation… if we are asked to have our children complete 7 weeks of instruction and lessons at home,” McGee encouraged all, reminding us that previous generations have been tasked with much greater challenges, and all rose to the occasion.
We can do this.