FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. — The second annual combined State of the Schools address for Franklin County and Russellville City Schools was held Thursday morning at the A.W. Todd Center in Russellville.
Hosted by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, the event gave the superintendents of both systems the opportunity to discuss achievements and challenges throughout the year.
For Franklin County, one of those challenges is educating students in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Obviously being in a more rural school district, handling the internet issues are the most difficult, especially for remote learners,” Superintendent Greg Hamilton said. “We’ve been very fortunate through this first nine weeks that we’ve had minor cases and we’ve been able to get our kids in school and even with the remote learners we’ve been able to get them some internet access.”
Franklin County Schools installed high speed internet at several fire departments and community centers around the county so remote learners could complete their lessons during the first nine weeks. Hamilton said more than half of those students will return to traditional school for the second nine weeks.
For Russellville City Schools, Superintendent Heath Grimes emphasized the importance of English language learning for students.
“We’ve been able to increase services, the number of teachers, the number of aids, and the number of translators,” Grimes said.
He said the state has worked with the school system to increase funding for those services.
“If we do a great job educating our EL students, it’s going to change the achievement gap between us and other states and us and other districts so it’s a really big deal about making sure that we’re doing the best we can for all of our students,” Grimes said.
Demographics show that most students in Russellville City Schools are Hispanic with nearly 30 percent requiring EL assistance.
To read more from Franklin County Schools’ address, click here.
For Russellville City Schools, click here.