All schools in Madison County and the City of Madison will return to school on-line only this fall.
School systems in Marshall County have opted to offer both traditional in-school and virtual enrollment options.
The announcement from Madison County has prompted many parents to ask why schools in Marshall County are not following Madison County’s lead.
“We are aware that some other districts have made decisions to start the school year via remote/virtual learning,” Todd Haynie, Boaz City Schools superintendent, said.
“Our plan currently includes a virtual option for parents to choose if they feel they are not ready for their student to return to school for face to face instruction.
“Our district leadership is currently monitoring the situation and will make any necessary adjustments to our current plan. At this time we have approximately 5% of our students who signed up to participate in our virtual program.
“We realize this situation has been very difficult for many in our community and state. We will continue to work on our plans to help keep our students and teachers as safe as possible upon their return to class.”
The superintendents of Albertville City, Athens City, Colbert County, Cullman City, DeKalb County, Cullman County, Haleyville City, Jackson County, Limestone County, Marshall County, and Russellville City released a joint statement in response to Madison County School districts changing their reopening plans to virtual schooling only for the first part of the year.
The school systems said they are aware of multiple systems in the state and surrounding areas that have announced plans to return to complete virtual learning once school resumes this August.
It is their decision to continue with recently released plans for traditional, in-person learning.
“After carefully considering our options and following guidelines from the CDC, Alabama Department of Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the State Department of Education, and our governor, we believe the safety and sanitation measures outlined in each of our system’s plans for reopening will provide a safe environment for learning while allowing our students and staff to return to some semblance of normalcy this fall,” they stated.
The school districts said they considered other factors in this decision, such as:
1. Students’ access to healthy meals
2. Parents who must attend work will not be able to help their child learn from home during the day and are in need of child supervision.
3. Learning gaps that might arise from continued virtual learning.
4. The overall mental health of students who have missed out on interaction with their peers
The school systems still have a plan in place to move to a blended form of learning or an all-virtual form of learning if there is a rise in COVID-19 positive cases in schools, the community, or due to an emergency declaration at the state level.
The school districts are offering virtual education options to any student whose parents/guardians are not comfortable with traditional, in-person learning at this time.