Madison City Schools bringing students back for in-person classes as coronavirus cases decline

This starts for school-based students in March.

Posted: Feb 24, 2021 3:52 PM

Madison City Schools is bringing students back to the classroom due to a decline of coronavirus cases in the community and district.

The district said in an announcement Wednesday afternoon that “With the positivity rate at near 10% and indicators from both the Huntsville Hospital System and the ADPH of declining Covid-19 issues, we will return all of our school-based students to an everyday schedule beginning Monday, March 1.”

There will still be some virtual days in March for standardized testing.

You can read the district's full announcement on Wednesday below:

Dear MCS Family,

We have been blessed in the last few weeks with a decline in both the positivity rate of Covid-19 in our community and the number of staff and students quarantined in our schools. With the positivity rate at near 10% and indicators from both the Huntsville Hospital System and the ADPH of declining Covid-19 issues, we will return all of our school-based students to an everyday schedule beginning Monday, March 1.

I know this is a change, but I feel that with the recent weather-related absences from school that it is the right time to reopen fully for all of our school-based students. Please know that we will continue to monitor the rate of infection in our community in the days ahead. Also, there will be a few days scheduled as virtual after spring break to address the required standardized testing for the district. Those virtual days are detailed in the calendar attached to this messenger. Below you will find specific information about the state standardized assessments.

Addressing Gaps in Learning

I realize that since March 2020, our students have experienced interruptions in traditional school due to the pandemic. Our team has been working on a plan to support gaps in student learning that will begin in the summer and extend into the 2021-2022 school year. After spring break, I will provide more information about these learning opportunities in addition to the summer school opportunities that are traditionally provided.

State Standardized Testing

In the upcoming months, the Madison City School system will administer standardized tests to all students in grades 2-8 and grade 11. These tests are required by the Alabama State Department of Education and may only be administered on school campuses. More importantly, results from tests such as the ACAP Summative and the ACT - in addition to formative assessments such as iReady and STAR - provide guidance to help us meet students where they are and to help them continue to make academic progress. Students who participate in these standardized tests will gain valuable academic information regarding their progress, strengths, and areas to improve. Therefore, we strongly encourage your child’s participation.

The elementary, middle, and high schools are developing schedules for school-based students and virtual students to complete the ACAP testing session and the ACT on campus. More information will come from your child’s school concerning testing dates and times.

In order to provide testing opportunities for both school-based and virtual students, there will be a few scheduled virtual days. On March 9, school-based and virtual 11th grade students will take the ACT on campus; therefore, 9th, 10th, and 12th grade school-based students will have an asynchronous virtual learning day. On April 9 and 23, virtual students in grades 2nd - 8th will be taking the ACAP Summative assessment on campus. Therefore, school-based students in grades Pre-K - 8th will have asynchronous virtual learning days on both April 9 and 23. The asynchronous virtual learning days mentioned are detailed in the calendar attached to this messenger along with the specific grade levels that will be virtual on those days.

Attached to this messenger is a letter from the Alabama State Department of Education explaining the ACAP (Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program) to parents. We encourage you to review the information.

Also included in this messenger is a form for parents of virtual students to complete. If you are the parent of a virtual student in 2nd - 8th grades, please complete this ACAP Form by March 1 to notify the school of your plans for your child(ren) to complete the ACAP assessment on campus.

We appreciate your continued support of our schools.

Ed Nichols

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