Huntsville school leaders give insight into reopening classrooms in the fall


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Alabama State Superintendent of Education recently unveiled his roadmap to reopening schools. In that plan, Eric Mackey spelled out guidelines individual districts must follow and consider.

Huntsville City Schools leaders provided some insight into what they’re planning to do.

The state superintendent stressed that the state is not the final decision maker in how schools reopen. The state is giving local schools districts, like Huntsville, the freedom to implement what’s best for them and their students.

The first day of school will run differently than before. Huntsville City School leaders say they’ve spent all of March, April, and May figuring out their plans to reopen schools.

“We were very intentional about calling it our Reset Plan,” said Huntsville City School Public Information Officer Craig Williams. “We want families to know this is more than just a reopening of school, this is more than just a restart or return to classrooms. It truly is a reset.”

That Reset Plan isn’t available right now. School leaders are finalizing some of its details, but Williams said the district is thinking about various scenarios, including facial coverings and social distancing options.

“Back when all of this first started several months ago, our district established a preventive measures team in March,” said Williams. “That’s when we truly began examining what COVID impacts would be.”

Teachers were surveyed at the end of the school year. Williams said half of the teachers who took the survey prefer a mix of traditional and remote learning in the fall.

“We want students, families, and educators to know that safety is top of mind. We want to mitigate risk in order to create a safe and healthy environment for everyone,” said Williams.

Keep in mind, the district is launching Huntsville Virtual Academy. This is an option for families who would rather keep their students at home. Williams said more than 1,000 families have already signed up.

School leaders said the Reset Plan will be unveiled on July 9.

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