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Monroe County Schools plans to offer remote learning as an option this fall

Superintendent Mike Hickman wants to provide options for parents who aren't comfortable with sending their kids back to school when in-person instruction returns

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. — When COVID-19 hit, teachers, students and parents had to adapt to depending on remote learning.

Monroe County Schools Superintendent Mike Hickman says some families now prefer it that way.

"We're confident that we'll be able to provide the face-to-face option on August 3, but we do have 75 students in grades K-12 that have chosen to do the online option beginning of the year, so that's a lot from up from 10-20," he said.

The district offered remote learning for their middle and high school students. Now, they're expanding it to include all grades.

"We just felt like if parents are anxious and they didn't feel comfortable sending their kids into a public setting that the remote option would be best, and that way they can transition back when they feel comfortable," Hickman said.

They're asking students who choose to continue remote learning to stay on it for a certain amount of time.

"Middle and elementary will stay on it for nine weeks and then if they transition back to face-to face-then they'll be at the right place. Then at the high school, we're on the block schedule, so we'll ask if they start out on remote learning that they'll stay there for our entire semester then they will transition back in January," Hickman said.

Even though at-home learning may have been challenging for some, Hickman believes it could serve as an advantage in the future.

"I think as a nation, I think we're growing and learning and trying to be more flexible in what we offer to our children and families and so at the end of the day, I hope we'll be better because of it, but I do think it's going to change the way we look at education moving forward," Hickman said.

Hickman says as long as the state health department keeps Monroe County on the minimal to moderate level for COVID-19 risk, they will return to in-person learning on August 3.

Families who'd like to continue remote learning can fill out their applications on the district's website.

Bibb and Houston County Schools are also planning to offer remote learning as an option.

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