Athens City Schools superintendent on removing mask requirement for 2021-2022 school year

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ATHENS, Ala. – Some Tennessee Valley School systems have begun releasing their plans for the summer and even next school year when it comes to COVID-19 precautions; including Athens City Schools.

The district will not require masks when students return to school this summer or next fall.

They will also end the option for remote learning this fall.

“It seemed like every day brought something new,” Superintendent Beth Patton said. “We had students going from traditional to remote to traditional and everyday teachers were trying to go back and forth in those different worlds.”

Superintendent Patton said parents not ready for the return to traditional learning can apply to Athens Renaissance school, “which is designed for our virtual blended students so that option has already been out there for families who want that and that’s how we want it to be,” she added.

Patton said virtual learning is not the right fit for everyone, and by the end of this school year, virtual learning student numbers reflected a desire to get back to the classroom.

“We have very few students in elementary, K through 6 anyway, still in remote learning. Probably a little over 100 at the Middle School level, just over 200 at the High School level so people are ready to be back in school,” Patton said.

She said they will be monitoring COVID-19 cases closely and are prepared to alter plans as needed, but as of now, they are prepared to get back to a pre-pandemic normal.

“We’re ready for some hands-on learning, we’re ready for some outside-of-school experiences, we’re ready to have our families back inside our schools, we’re so excited,” Patton said.

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