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Schools expected to open this fall...with some changes

Families will have the option of in-person or virtual classes, or a combination of the two.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Alabama State Superintendent of Education announced that schools will reopen for traditional classes this fall - but with some options, including virtual learning for children whose parents aren't comfortable sending them back.

Superintendent Eric Mackey did warn that these plans could change based on the spread of the virus.

Mackey says a survey showed about 15 percent of parents still are not comfortable sending their kids back to school.

Following this guidance, both Madison City Schools and Huntsville City Schools say they are now working to finalize plans for their districts.

Huntsville City Schools said in a statement:

The Alabama State Department of Education shared its Return to School Roadmap at a press conference earlier today. Following today’s announcement from State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey, our team will continue to finalize our Reset Plan surrounding a return to school in August. We have put much thought, research, and consideration into our plan over the past several months based on stakeholder feedback and guidance from health officials, state leaders, and existing educational plans related to returning to classrooms.

The health and safety of students, families, and staff members will remain paramount in our Reset Plan. It will be shared when it is finalized by the district. We thank Dr. Mackey and his team at the Alabama State Department of Education for their continued leadership, guidance, and support.

We feel it is important to know we will provide options to families within our learning frameworks so they can make the best decision that fits the needs of their family. Additionally, we will be mindful of meeting the needs of teachers and staff members to engage in teaching and learning while promoting a safe and healthy environment.  

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Madison City Schools plan is more detailed. In a statement, they said:

Today the Alabama State Superintendent, Dr. Eric Mackey, released his official roadmap for reopening schools this fall. Mr. Terrell and I have had the opportunity to review this plan prior to its release to the public.

With the guidance from the State Department of Education, it is clear that at the current time, we will reopen schools this fall. In Madison, we are planning on two avenues of educational services for this fall.

First, we will provide a school-based education option at each of our school facilities. This setting will utilize facial coverings, physical distance practices and sanitation procedures to protect staff and students on each campus.

Next, the district will provide a virtual education option for parents who choose a setting away from the school building for their student. This option will provide both a long range plan of education and a hybrid plan that will provide flexibility for students who may need to move from school-based to virtual due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Regardless of the option, all students will remain enrolled in their home school.

Click here to read complete Madison City Schools statement.

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