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Tallahassee Classical School: All students return to in-person learning on Jan. 20

Posted at 12:42 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 23:19:02-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — All students at Tallahassee Classical School will be required to return to in-person learning on January 20.

In a letter obtained by ABC 27 and addressed to parents Monday, the Tallahassee Classical School announced that they will be returning to in-person learning for all students, including virtual learners, beginning Jan. 20.

According to the letter, the TCS Board of Directors voted to have all students return to brick and mortar learning, to coincide with their new semester on Jan. 20.

Virtual learning options had been offered since the beginning of the new school year. The letter told parents that virtual learners can expect an email with instructions for their transition.

The school said the plan was to always only to offer virtual learning for the Fall Semester, explaining their curriculum is designed for face to face instruction.

“As you know, a classical curriculum is designed to be delivered in a face-to-face format, and while we are grateful for the opportunity to have been able to teach virtually for a season,” the letter read. “The Board has determined that the furtherance of our mission and goals can most effectively be realized by having our virtual learners return to campus.”

The school has about 500 students in grades K-8th grade.

A spokesperson for TCS said out of that only 10 percent of their students are virtual learners, with many virtual learners making the switch back to the classroom mid-semester.

While that may be the case, Katherine Fothergill is immunocompromised and her husband said sending their kids to school could put their family at risk.

"We equally need to keep our virtual option especially when the climate does not feel safe it does not still feel safe out there and all we want is the option," said Kory Fothergill. "We're not saying that the school needs to be closed down or the school shouldn't be open we're just saying that because we have a special circumstance we should still keep the virtual option that we signed up for."

This announcement comes after parents prematurely heard that the school would shut down, only for a clarification letter to be sent by the school on Dec. 10, where they outlined a plan for virtual learning options as well as confirming positive COVID-19 cases on campus.

The school will finish its first semester after returning from winter break on Jan. 5, with a combination of in-person and virtual learners before the second-semester in-person learning switch.

According to their COVID-19 opening plan, virtual learning for immunocompromised families was an option for the fall.

Currently, TCS says virtual options will only be allowed for students who are quarantined.