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Huntsville, Madison City and Madison County districts to do virtual learning only for start of new school year

School districts in Madison County announced in a news conference Wednesday morning that they will do virtual learning only for the start of the new school year.

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 8:58 AM
Updated: Jul 22, 2020 11:01 AM

The Huntsville, Madison City and Madison County school districts will do virtual learning only for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

This will be for at least the first nine weeks of the new school year. The announcement was made in a joint news conference on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

You can find the revised Madison City Schools back to school plan and a video message from Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols below. 

Madison County Schools provided the following statement on Wednesday: 

The Madison County School System is announcing plans to begin this school year with students learning remotely. Superintendent Allen Perkins made the joint announcement with superintendents from Huntsville City Schools and Madison City Schools during a news conference at the Chamber of Commerce. Every student in the Madison County system will participate in
remote learning the first nine weeks of school.

Superintendent Perkins stated, “COVID-19 cases continue to surge. Our responsibility is to keep our students and employees safe and to provide a quality education. For our Madison County School System family, this means all students will start at Level 3 - Substantial Spread of our reopening plan. Each student’s school will provide additional information.”

“It is my prayer that our community will come together as never before and let every student and employee know, in all three districts, that their safety and education is premier to us. We care about every one of you and we will do everything we can to provide a safe and secure environment in which to learn and work,” Perkins stated.

For more information you can visit www.mcssk.12.org

Huntsville City Schools provided this statement on Wednesday: 

Huntsville City Schools (HCS) announced plans today to begin the new school year remotely. All students will engage in remote learning during the first nine weeks in order to mitigate risk due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

HCS is joining both Madison City Schools and the Madison County School System in opting to begin the first nine weeks online. HCS Superintendent Christie Finley and leaders from the other districts made the joint announcement during a press conference on Wednesday.

“The health and safety of students, families and staff members is paramount,” Finley said. “This was not an easy decision, and this was not something we took lightly. We join our nearby school districts and school districts across the country in working to mitigate risk by beginning the school year remotely.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March and Gov. Kay Ivey announced a statewide school closure, there were 39 confirmed cases in Alabama with only one confirmed case in Madison County. There are currently more than 65,000 confirmed cases across Alabama including more than 3,500 in Madison County.

District leaders will reassess health conditions during the first nine weeks to determine a learning framework for the remainder of the semester. If health conditions improve, the district may consider transitioning to a staggered schedule.

Families enrolled in Huntsville Virtual Academy (HVA) can continue participating in HVA and not be impacted by the transition to remote learning. The deadline to enroll in HVA will remain Friday, July 24, 2020, at 4 p.m. Families may begin the enrollment process by visiting huntsvillecityschools.org/hva. Also, to provide families maximum flexibility, families who previously enrolled in HVA may unenroll if they do so by Friday, July 24, 2020.

HCS is working to eliminate barriers by providing families with curbside Wi-Fi at all school sites and working with internet providers to assist families with low-cost internet options. Additionally, HCS will implement curbside meal service locations at select sites across the community.

The district will be providing families and staff members with more information related to the beginning of the school year.

The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. View the district’s Reset Plan by visiting huntsvillecityschools.org/reset.

Stay with WAAY 31 on air and online for updates. 

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