HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg Public Schools are preparing to enter Phase III of their Restart and Recovery coronavirus plan. Phase III begins on Nov. 2 and gives parents a choice between completely traditional or completely virtual learning.
“The traditional option means that students will attend school daily, five days a week," Superintendent Robert Williams said. "The alternative to that will be that parents will have the option to opt-out of the traditional plan and those students can opt-out to be in the 100% virtual option.”
This is a one-time opt-out choice as Phase III begins. Williams says he expects about 35% of the district will choose virtual learning and the deadline to opt-out is Friday, Oct. 23.
“Now we are asking that parents need to make that decision on or before Oct. 23 and parents will need to stick with that option for the remainder of the semester, which will take them through December,” Williams said.
Parents who want to opt-out should contact their child’s principal to complete the opt-out form and the principal should be able to answer specific questions about the form and virtual learning platform.
Williams notes that any students currently failing classes will not be allowed to opt-out for virtual unless they have a medical reason. Williams explains that virtual can be challenging.
“Students that are 100% virtual, we do have some students that are being successful," Williams said. “However, we have noticed with our 100% virtual students there are a large number of students that are struggling on that platform.”
If parents plan to have their children participate in Phase III traditional learning, they don’t have to take action and should be prepared for the traditional schedule on Nov. 2.