HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Traditional students within a couple North Alabama school districts will go back to learning inside the classroom five days a week starting after the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
After months of virtual, hybrid, or staggered learning, some Huntsville City School and Madison City School students are heading back to the classroom full-time.
News 19 spoke with Huntsville City Schools spokesman Craig Williams on precautions the district is taking to prepare safe and healthy classrooms.
“We made the decision before the winter break to phase students slowly back into buildings for the beginning of second semester,” said Williams. “Of course, the rationale there being health and safety.”
The district began the semester on a staggered schedule as a precautionary measure following the holidays.
“As we look at the first couple of weeks since being back in buildings, we are pleased with where we are and that’s why we’re ultimately making the decision to be bringing students back in the building on Tuesday,” said Williams.
Obviously, this doesn’t come without safety measures.
“Now’s not the time to be changing health protocols, now’s the time to be reinforcing health protocols,” added Williams. “The big ones that come to mind: practicing social distancing to the greatest extent possible, requiring students and staff members to wear masks at all time while in the building, and encouraging frequent hand washing and sanitizing.”
According to the COVID-19 dashboard, in the last 14 days 147 students have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Many of the COVID cases that maybe our students are contracting, it’s often not a result of what’s happening within our schools, it’s often a result of what’s happening within the community,” Williams said.
This is why the HCS spokesperson is asking for parents to also be taking precautionary measures at home to keep students safe.
Williams says the school system will continue monitoring COVID-19 numbers, as well as the health and safety of students, for any future schedule adjustments.
Madison City Schools announced Wednesday that they, too, will return to the classroom for every day instruction on Tuesday, January 19. This is only for students who signed up for traditional learning.