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Over 600 TCSS virtual students have already signed up to return to in-person instruction

More than 600 Troup County School System virtual students have already signed up to return in-person instruction, according to numbers released during Monday night’s school board work session.

Superintendent Brian Shumate said 610 students in the Troup County Virtual Academy have already filled out paperwork to return to in-person instruction on Oct. 13, the date the second nine weeks start. TCSS announced last week that it was going to allow all virtual students — high schoolers included — to fill out paperwork to return to in-person instruction for the start of the second nine weeks. Originally, high school students had to wait until after the first semester to change from virtual to in-person.

The forms are available on each school’s website and have to be filled out by Sept. 25.

“That’s good news [that students are returning], and that’s over 5 percent [of virtual students],” Shumate said of students choosing to return to in-person instruction. “We think this number is going to go up to around 10 percent. We’ll be back down to around 30 percent [of students in virtual instruction].”

TCSS is also setting a Sept. 25 deadline for students choosing to move from in-person to virtual. About 40 percent of TCSS’ 12,080 students are enrolled in the virtual academy, a number higher than the school system originally anticipated. The virtual number climbed after starting the school year at around 33 percent, but Shumate said it’s currently leveled out.

Shumate said the Sept. 25 deadline is to prevent principals from having to continuously rework their master schedules. Currently, as students move from in-person to virtual, schedules are constantly having to be adjusted.

“We’ve got kids wanting to come back,” Shumate said. “We’ve got to get the master schedule stabilized … instead of doing all this adjusting all the time. And I think after 20 days people should pretty much know what they want to do.”