Madison City Schools headed back to the classroom after long summer of prep

Madison City Schools headed back to the classroom after long summer of prep
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:21 PM CDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Madison City Schools is just one of several districts heading back to the classroom tomorrow morning. District leaders have been working hard this summer to welcome back more than 12,000 students.

“Our motto this year is glad to be here. Because we are glad to be here,” said Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols.

It’s the first school year in two years where all students will fill classrooms instead of logging onto computers.

“We are mask optional. If anyone wants to wear one they are certainly encouraged to do that. We will continue our cleaning and hopefully move through this next phase,” Dr. Nichols said.

More kids in classrooms mean more teachers are needed.

Since there are more students in the classroom, it calls for my teachers in schools. Dr. Nichols says they hired 100 teachers over the summer, but are finding solutions for the positions that remain open.

“What we try to do is, if we can secure a retired teacher to fill in. Sometimes a person is leaving and they will stay with us until we fill that position. Sometimes we have to start the school year with a substitute teacher,” Dr. Nichols said.

When it comes to safety Dr. Nichols says that the district has put in a lot of work to increase the presence of School Resource Officers.

“We have worked with the city to expand our SROs. We are committed to having one in every school. We have them in a lot of our schools,” Dr. Nichols said.

Dr. Nichols says teachers have expressed concerns heading into the new year. He says, generally, they want more professional training, more planning time during the day, and a little help from parents.

“Remember that teachers have families. We live in a society where everybody wants to email and text immediately. When our teachers go home, you will get a lot better teacher back tomorrow if you allow them to have family time,” Dr. Nichols said.

Due to rapid growth in the area, Dr. Nichols says Journey Middle School should be ready for students next school year. Madison City Schools also purchased an eighth elementary school and are planning to expand some of the high schools.

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