Huntsville City Schools’ digital initiative leads to phasing out of textbooks

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Questions and complaints about Huntsville City Schools' decision to remove textbooks from classrooms have been sent into the WHNT News 19 by parents and educators.

The school system's decision - to rely solely on computers. It's a decision many schools are making.

"We started our digital one to one four years ago. Basically, grades three to 12 were issued a laptop... that was something we wanted to do to be cutting edge and to keep up with what is really in today's world an expectation," said Huntsville City Schools Spokesperson Keith Ward.

The Huntsville City School system launch the digital initiative about four years ago.

"We had sets of books that were available to us as well when we launched this thing, but long-term, I mean we knew those things would be phased out so that we wouldn't have as many," Ward said.

Teachers were asked to remove the textbooks from their classrooms this week, but they are not going away completely.

"We are still going to have textbooks available and they are going to be in the library and they will be available on an as-need basis for checkout," Ward said.

However, there will not be as many textbooks available. Officials will monitor how many textbooks they need to send to each school by how often the books are checked out.

"With the digital platform it is always current. It is always up to date. So with that you have other resources. You have audio video resources that are embedded in that as well that you certainly could not have with a hard cover," Ward said.

Leaders say that phasing out textbooks is all part of the new digital curriculum.