Madison County Public Schools could return to in-person learning before the end of the first nine-weeks

Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 4:00 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Huntsville City Schools announced remote learning could wrap up sooner than the anticipated nine weeks, which means students may be able to get back into the classroom for the fall semester.

Nothing is set in stone, it is all depending on case data.

Superintendent Christie Finley said the school system will take it week by week and if it is safe for the students, leaders would consider a gradual reentry.

“It wouldn’t be all students entering at one time, we want to have that gradual reentry. It may be a staggered start. It may be one day a week then gradually going into two to three days a week. Then really taking a look at and reflecting on what worked and what didn’t work,” said Superintendent Christie Finley.

Huntsville City Schools created a task force called MUSE: Municipalities United to Support Education. This group is made up of representatives from all three school districts in Madison County along with county leaders and public health officials.

It is their job to determine whether a faster return to the classroom could be possible.

Finley said getting kids back into school all depends on what current data is showing. District leaders say they will be in constant communication to get students back safely.

“What are the numbers saying right now with the COVID-19 cases, do we continue to see an increase, what are some updates we see from the CDC? We are also using the ADPH tool kit. But collectively talking about how we can do this as a county getting our students back into the building safely. That’s what we are doing and having that conversation. Our first meeting will be next week,” said Finley.

48 News reached out to Madison City Schools and Madison County Schools to see if they were considering the same option.

“We all realize COVID-19 is an ever-changing situation. Remote instructional learning for our students will begin on August 19th. We will continue to review data and information provided by the State Department of Public Health, the CDC and our local Health Officials. If COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease, the option of returning to face-to-face instruction before the end of the first nine-weeks is a possibility. Our number one goal will continue to be the safety of every child and employee in our school system,” said Allen Perkins, Superintendent of the Madison County School System.

“Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said all along that MCS will continue to monitor COVID-19 levels and evaluate around Labor Day to determine if and when students can return safely for school-based learning. The decision will be based on a variety of factors including the community infection rate and CDC/ADPH guidelines. Whenever a decision is made, the community will be given ample notice on when the student-return could occur and in what form. It has always been our position that things remain fluid because of the ever-changing status of COVID19,” said Madison City Schools Spokesperson John Peck.

As of now, all three districts will proceed with remote learning to kick off the school year.

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