BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The First Class Pre-K program which services 24,000 students, according to The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, will be virtual, in-person, or a hybrid of both for the 20-21 school year.
The State expects 180 days of in-person instruction at 6.5 hours per day, for all Pre-K students, according to the Reopening and Operating Framework.
Secretary of Early Childhood Education with the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, Barbara Cooper, said the plan is not set in stone and could change as new information becomes available about COVID-19. But she said teachers will get creative with establishing a relationship with students on the virtual track by having parades and stopping by their homes.
“We also anticipate being able to provide learning management tools that parents will be able to use to help the teacher keep the child engaged,” said Cooper.
The state doesn’t expect the little ones to stay engaged for hours on a computer, said Cooper; however, she explained it is more critical now than ever for Pre-K students to experience learning.
“Certainly this is not optimal for students to have to engage in this way, virtually in many cases, But it certainly provides an opportunity for us to identify any developmental delays. It provides an opportunity for us to provide all of those rich learning experiences for students. It’s just going to mean that we’re going to have to do it a bit differently,” she said.
As for social distancing and COVID-19 case reporting, Cooper said all the Pre-K sites will follow the CDC and state guidelines.
It’s not too late to sign up. Click here.