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Monroe County schools announces 'Alternate Learning Days' from March 16-20

Here's what an Alternate Learning Day is and what parents need to know

FORSYTH, Ga. — Monroe County schools are asking their students to learn at home next week.

They're calling March 16-20 "alternative learning days" and say they'll count as regular school days.

Mary Persons High School teacher Sarah Williams started posting math assignments online for students, because next week all learning will take place at home. 

"We can post assignments out to students, that they can complete outside of a classroom. That way, we can keep instruction going, and not have any gaps in what we are trying to do with our students," she says. 

In a message from Supt. Mike Hickman Friday, the district said, "Students will participate in Alternative Learning Days through reading traditional books, traditional "at home" paper-based assignments, and through use of personal devices, GoogleClassroom, email, and other electronic and digital media to ensure uninterrupted instruction."

"They're basically doing everything that we would've done in class, except I'm not there in front of them providing the direct instruction," says Williams

Using digital tools, the district says students will still be able to "communicate, collaborate, research and complete assignments and lessons."

Williams says, "What I've done is a create a kind of online unit for them to complete where I will be there to support them."

While there are no reported COVID-19 cases in Central Georgia, Williams says being able to transition learning outside of the classroom is vital. 

She says, "I don't think it's a scary new, I think it's a good new that can come in a time where it's kind of scary, so having something that's comforting, like I can still get into a routine of doing my school work is a positive."

Students who don't have Internet access at home can complete paper assignments. Their parents should pick those assignments up at school Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the district's educators should be completing professional-learning activities at school. Each principal is supposed to track their progress, according to Hickman.

Transportation, nutrition, and custodial staff will give the district's facilities a deep-cleaning on Monday and Tuesday, Hickman writes.

The district will notify parents and staff whether school resumes for the week of March 23.

But all Monroe County sports, field trips, and other outside activities through March 27 are canceled.

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