HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Traditional learning students in Huntsville City Schools are back in class five days a week as the school system kicks off its second semester of learning.
This after the school district started the year remotely on August 17.
“We did so out of an abundance of caution and we remained in remote learning for roughly a month,” says Craig Williams.
After roughly a month of virtual learning, the school district made the decision to phase students back into the classroom starting on September 14.
“We used the cohort model. We had two cohorts here in the district. Cohort A and cohort B and there we used the staggered schedule with cohort A attending school at the beginning of the week and cohort B attending school at the end of the week and we would alternate that middle day on Wednesdays between the two cohorts,” says Williams.
On October 1, the district announced that students enrolled in traditional learning would return to class five days a week starting on Monday October 26.
“I think we’re all excited for a sense of normalcy in the sense of having students back in the building five days a week, much how we are used to,” says Williams.
The school district says they are going to continue being cautious and mindful of the current public health situation while evolving in the age of educating during a global pandemic.
“We’ve been conducting teacher advisory committee meetings and bearding from them directly hearing what it’s like in the classrooms,” says Williams.
In addition to masks, social distancing, and extra sanitization practices, Huntsville city schools is now providing face and desk shields.
“They delivered those face shields to teachers just last week and one thing we made sure was in place today, making sure we have desk shields for students across grades K-12,” says Williams.
The district says they will continue to monitor COVID-19 case numbers in the school system and across North Alabama.
“Every week we take part in what we call the MUSE call and that stands for Municipalities Unite to Support Education and there we hear from public health officials and we receive their guidance on how to move forward public health wise,” says Williams.
Huntsville City Schools says they will continue to be flexible.
“We were mindful of that when we developed the districts reset plan. We have several modes of how we would go about learning this school year and we’ve already seen all three this school year…. should conditions change, should needs arise, we’re in a position where we can be flexible and adapt,” says Williams.
Enrollment for the Huntsville Virtual Academy spring semester is open from October 26 to November 28. The district says they invite families to go ahead and sign up their children, but to be mindful that teaching assignments could change depending on the number of students that enter or leave the virtual option for spring.