Lauderdale County superintendent says split schedule is best to keep students safe

Students will go back to school August 24th.

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 9:38 PM

The Lauderdale County School district said it's not seeing the coronavirus on a steady downward trend in the Shoals and that's one of the reasons it chose to keep students in small numbers.

Students will be split up into Group A and Group B. Group A will go to traditional classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. No students will be on campus on Wednesdays. Then Group B will go to traditional school on Thursdays and Fridays.

Lauderdale County Superintendent Jon Hatton said his goal is to have less than 50% of the student body on campus because this helps them to have smaller class sizes and allows students to social distance, too.

"Right around 20% have chosen to go virtual completely. So the numbers will be lower within the 50%," said Hatton.

Hatton said he wasn't surprised so many parents have chosen the virtual route with coronavirus numbers rising in the Shoals.

"It's a very serious matter that related to the safety of our students and we needed to afford our parents the opportunity in the virtual realm and were glad to do that," said Hatton.

The district said they are buying portable WiFi jet packs because what might work on one end of the county won't work on the other. Families who need it will get the WiFi jet packs.

"Some of the rural communities in Anderson and Waterloo, we have to have a variety of those because some won't work in some locations," said Hatton.

Hatton said with students split up into two groups with each going to traditional school two days a week will last for the first four weeks of school. He said this model takes their buses from full capacity to about 30 students per bus.

"With groups A and B not going to school the same days we felt like this was the safest model for our school system," said Hatton.

Each school is working on putting students in group A or group B. Parents will find out that information once the individual schools have those lists. Siblings will be in the same groups.

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