RUSEELLVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Today we learned how schools are faring in Franklin County and Russellville.
School leaders in the area teamed up to host a State of the School address. Superintendents from Franklin County and Russellville laid out their challenges and achievements today.
A big challenge in Franklin county according to superintendent Greg Hamilton, is educating rural students in a pandemic.
“Obviously being in a more rural school district handling the internet issues are the most difficult, especially remote learners, but we’ve been very fortunate through this first nine weeks that we’ve had minor cases and we’ve been able to get our kids in school. Even with remote learners, we’ve been able to get our kids internet,” said Hamilton.
More than half of the students who were learning remotely will return to school for the second quarter.
“We have to plan for that just like you would how we planned going into it because you know more students which means more social distancing, more adjusting the bus routes,” said Hamilton.
Heath Grimes with Russellville City Schools focused primarily on the importance of English as a Second Language (ESL).
“If we do a great job educating our ESL students it’s going to change the achievement gap between us and other states and districts. So its a really big deal about making sure that we are doing the best we can with all of our students,” said Grimes.
He said over half of the students in Russellville city are Hispanic, and nearly 30 percent are ESL learning students. However, teachers are up for the challenge.
“We know they are working hard. They are very diligent. They are very dedicated. They are really just overworking themselves to make sure our students are performing well and to make sure we remain among some of the top school districts in the state of Alabama,” said Grimes.
In addition to these issues, both systems have future plans to update and renovate their schools.