MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile County students will move to virtual learning starting Jan. 18. The Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) decided to move students to virtual learning due to staffing shortages from COVID-19, according to a letter from Superintendent Chresal D. Threadgill.

The week-long virtual session will give faculty about nine days to quarantine before heading back to work. Initially, only two schools in Mobile County were going to close and reopen Jan. 18 in the hopes that the five-day break would give faculty enough time to recover from the virus.

Although the five-day break aligns with CDC guidelines, the school district now believes that the nine-day break is needed for staff to return to work.  

The Omicron variant is spreading fast through Mobile County. Just yesterday, COVID-19 cases were reported to be over 90,000 since the pandemic hit. 

Lessons will not be “live,” like they were in 2020, according to MCPSS. Instead, teachers will upload lessons and assignments in Schoology for students. Students will then complete these assignments on their own schedules next week. Papers assignment will be sent home to elementary students.

Teachers will spend Friday, Jan. 14 getting assignments ready and making sure that students have devices to finish their work at home. If you do not have internet at home, the school district will provide instructions for uploading assignment for students. Instructions will also be posted on their county’s website.

Virtual learning will start Jan. 18 and continue through Jan. 21.

The MCPSS plans to return to in-person classes Jan. 24.

LETTER FROM MCPSS

First and foremost, thanks to each of you for your continued support of MCPSS during such continued unprecedented times. Our parents, students, and employees are definitely to be commended for continuing to press forward as #TeamMCPSS

The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly in Mobile County. I have been closely monitoring the number of positive COVID cases and isolations in each individual school and throughout the district as a whole daily.   

Our number of cases has increased, making it difficult to staff many of our schools. Based on today’s numbers, I feel it is best for the health and safety of all students and employees for the entire district to move to virtual learning for the week of January 18 – 21, 2022.  I made the decision to close a full week to allow nine consecutive days, including the weekends, for individuals to recover from illness. 

This will not be the “live” classroom lessons as we implemented in the fall of 2020. Rather, to allow for flexibility, teachers will upload lessons and assignments onto Schoology for students to complete on their own schedules next week or paper assignments will be sent home with elementary students. 

Tomorrow, January 14, 2022, will be used to provide students with assignments for next week, and to make sure all students have a device to complete their work if needed.  All assignments will be made via Schoology or students will be provided with paper copies. For those without internet at home, instructions for uploading assignments will be provided for students. A copy of the instructions will also be placed on our website for parents to reference. 

Upon returning on January 24, 2022, we will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 cases and allow the numbers to inform further decisions being made within the district. 

Again, thank you for your continued support of #TeamMCPSS. We will #FinishStrong.