PCS to host Zoom meeting about virtual academy tonight

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virtual academy

Rick Townsend, Superintendent of Pickens County Schools, said they are looking at the best ways to serve students and parents during the 2020-2021 school year.

Parents in Pickens County will host a meeting via Zoom for parents wanting more information about the virtual academy for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents have two options for the 2020-2021 school year in the wake of a pandemic that shuttered schools in March.

The meeting is at 6:30. To attend, click here.

Choice 1 would be “Traditional School” with students returning to school with social distancing encouraged and extensive cleaning plans. The system notes that traditional school could become distance learning.

Choice 2 would be “Pickens Virtual Academy” with full time enrollment at home for at least one full semester. Students would have access to staff and support and would be eligible for extracurricular activities.

Parents have until July 13 to pick an option.


  • Back to school August 3, 2020.
  • Staff and students on campus.
  • Social distancing is encouraged.
  • Daily cleaning protocols.
  • Masks encouraged on buses and in hallways.
  • Face-to-face instruction.


Virtual Academy

  • Back to school August 3, 2020.
  • Curriculum provided using Pearson online program which can be supported by a Pickens County teacher to meet the individual needs of students.
  • Pearson is an accredited provider.
  • The courses cover the Georgia Standards and pacing will be aligned to Pickens County Courses.
  • A Pickens County teacher will be available to assist students with questions regarding assignments.
  • For seniors, teachers and counselors will work with them to ensure they are meeting graduation requirements.
  • Checkpoints will be set for all students to ensure the student works at a pace to complete the course on time.
  • Students will be considered students of Pickens County Schools and eligible for extracurricular activities.
  • Instructions and assignments via Pearson Connexus with assistance from a teacher.

Traditional School may become virtual

  • The system can switch to virtual learning if there is a substantial spread in the community.
  • Students in quarantine or homebound can enter virtual learning.


Transportation for traditional option

  • Masks and social distancing encouraged.
  • Personal protection equipment or PPE will be provided for all bus drivers
  • Assigned seating to improve loading and unloading.
  • Increased cleaning measures.
  • Disinfected daily.


Specialized student services


  • Students with special needs will engage in fact to face instruction.


  • Instructions and assignments via Pearson Connexus with assistance from a teacher.


Social-Emotional Learning


  • Students will work with staff to reconnect to school, build relationships and practice procedures and behavior expectations.
  • Counselors will have social emotional resources for teachers.



  • Students will work with staff to reconnect. Counselors will have resources available that will include ways to manage time in a distance environment.


Health and Safety


  • Send students and staff showing symptoms to clinic
  • Hand sanitizer available.
  • Designated entry and exit doors.
  • Only students sand employees may enter the main buildings. Visitors and parents may enter through designated area only.


  • All done remotely.
  • In the case of the system converting to distance learning, the building will be off-limits.




  • Face to face instruction with same technology needs as before.
  • All students, K-12 will be provided a device.


  • All students will be provided a device.
  • Students need to have reliable internet connection.


  • All students will have a device.
  • Working toward making mobile Wi-Fi hotspots available to check out for students without home internet access.
  • Working toward making parking lots at each school equipped and maintained as Wi-Fi access points.
  • Technical support for parents and students.


Extra-curricular activities


  • Follow GHSA guidelines.
  • Use caution, increased cleaning.
  • Digital ticketing and encourage social distancing at events.


  • Students are eligible for the same level of extra-curricular activities as other students.


  • Students in distance learning will n ot be able to participate due to quarantine or school closure.


Students not enrolled in either program by July 13 will automatically be enrolled in the traditional option.

For questions, contact Anita Walker, Director of Curriculum at [email protected]

To enroll in either options, visit  here.

Read previous news on back to school, here.






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