Fayetteville schools reduce in-class option to two days per week

Fayetteville Public Schools officials have reduced the number of days students will attend in-person classes for the 2020-21 school year.

Superintendent John L. Colbert announced the news in a YouTube video on Tuesday.

Colbert said the district will still offer a choice between traditional in-person classes and virtual off-site learning, but the traditional schedule will only include two days of on-campus classes instead of five. The other three days will include online instruction at home for those students.

“We have heard your concerns about social distancing,” Colbert said in the video, which gives an overview of the changes.

Students in the traditional schedule will be divided into two groups. Those with last names beginning with the letters A through L will attend class on Mondays and Wednesdays. Students whose last names start with M through Z will have in-person classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Fridays will be an all-virtual learning day across the district, Colbert said.

There are no changes to the virtual program, meaning those students will still take all of their classes online at home with guidance from FPS teachers.

A third option offers classes through the Fayetteville Virtual Academy. Colbert said the district recently received approval from the state’s Charter School Authorizing Panel to expand grades served at the Fayetteville Virtual Academy to Kindergarten through 12th Grade, instead of only 4th through 12th grade. That decision is pending state approval in August, he said.

“We understand these changes may affect you and your family,” said Colbert. “We are committed to working with you to make the transition to hybrid and virtual learning as soon as possible.”

Colbert said a forthcoming email will detail the changes announced Wednesday.

“These are trying times,” said Colbert. “We all want the pandemic to be over right now. But unfortunately, we still have much more to do to beat this virus. We must remain united throughout the fight.”

The first day of classes in Fayetteville is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 24.