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Back to school: Huntsville teachers prep to support their students

Huntsville City Schools welcomed back teachers in preparation for the upcoming school year.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville City Schools welcomed back more than 1,800 educators in preparation for the new school year. And in this preparation, they're working to provide students with more academic and emotional support.

COVID-19 affected many things with education being on of them. Students and teachers had to work together virtually. 

But now that most students are back to in-person schooling, some students may feel behind in their studies.

Lee High School Principal, Tony Woods, said that these students have been a concentrated focus across the Huntsville City School District.

"We had summer enrichment, for any student that felt like they needed to get caught up or was behind and we have it built into our daily schedule as all Huntsville City Schools. There's a period called, 'zero period' which is an enrichment period…it's also used to help get kids caught up that may be lagging behind and also used some funding to offer after school tutoring for free for all students to help support that as well," Woods said.

Olivia Cooper is a junior English teacher and she emphasized that the pandemic affected students beyond academics.

"When we say behind, they're not only behind academically, but also socially and emotionally, " Cooper said.

Cooper said she cares for her students and if they need the help, she and many others are there, "It's all hands on deck…I mean if you're behind on test scores, if you're behind in reading, let's read, let's study. I'm really interested in social mobility and education is the number one pathway to social mobility."

And with this new school year approaching, you may be sending your child off to high school for the first time. Principal woods had some advice, "don't be alarmed…I know they're trying to turn their babies loose for the first time but I would tell them to make sure that they stay on top of grades because from 9th grade…at the beginning of 9th grade, they matter."

He said that connection can make all the difference. 

"Make sure the student is involved in school, and get connected to something. Whether it be a sports team, some type of club organization. The students that are connected to the schools typically have the best success in high school," Woods said.

Educators will be training with focuses on school curriculum, resources available for students who need extra help and new school safety technology.

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