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Madison Co. leaders say they're comfortable sending kids back to school

Leaders we talked to said they feel comfortable sending kids back to school, but parents are still not sure.

Posted: Jul 17, 2020 7:59 PM

WAAY 31 talked to community leaders about why parents should sent their children back to school this fall and if they'd feel comfortable with the current plans in place.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the numbers he's seen show about 25% of Huntsville City School students have chosen to learn online this fall. Friday, the Mayor and the Madison County Health Officer said they’re comfortable with kids heading back to the classroom.

"If all the measures were in place and the numbers were going in the right direction, and with the guidance of the people who are experts, in the education system I would feel I could send my children, because I believe these educators want what's best for these children," said Dr. Karen Landers, Madison County Health Officer.

Landers explained if she had school-aged children, she'd send them to school next month as long as the numbers are going in the right direction.

"I want to see the numbers flattening out. I want to see the numbers going down," she said.

Right now, the numbers going up, but Battle said his grandson will attend Huntsville City Schools in person next month.

"Part of his education is also learning good hygiene. Part of his education is learning to wash his hands, to stay separated, to stay sanitized," Battle said.

The school district's current 110 page reopening plan requires students to wear a mask. Parents have told us they're concerned about students keeping them on. Battle said it's something his family’s practicing.

"I'm not sure how successful we are but we are working on that right now," Battle said.

A lot of parents are working on deciding if they should send their children back to traditional classrooms. In Huntsville, the deadline is July 24. The school district is encouraging students to choose its virtual academy for at least the first semester.

"Parents and caregivers have to make the decision that they are most comfortable with and they feel is best for their children," Landers said.

"I think this will be a year where learning will be very different than it has been in the past, but I think this is part of the learning process that will come in," Battle added.

"We’ve learned so far is all plans are subject to change because of the coronavirus."

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