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Huntsville City Schools still working on plan to return to classroom

The school board was the only one in the district who would talk to us about what goes into making reopening decisions.

Posted: Jun 26, 2020 7:49 PM

WAAY 31 worked to learn from Huntsville city schools about the school district's plans for the fall after the Alabama State Department of Education's announcement on Friday.

Friday, was the last day of Huntsville City Schools graduation for the year. While the day is all about the graduates, a lot of parents want to know what to expect next school year. It’s a question I tried asking Superintendent Christie Finley the past two days.

"Our superintendent is getting ready for graduation that's our focus right this second," said spokesperson Craig Williams when we asked for an interview with Finley on Friday.

We asked if she had time in the hours between graduations.

"I mean look, she has a packed day, Sydney, that's the bottom line. She has a packed day. Right now, she's here for graduation and that's her sole focus. That's what we need to be focused on right now. If you'll excuse me, I have to go get ready myself," he said before walking away from us.

Elisa Ferrell, Huntsville School Board President, was the only person with the district willing to talk about plans for next school year.

"We have parents on both ends of the spectrum parents that have to work and want us to reopen and parents that are concerned about the possible viral infection," she said.

She wants parents to know the district is keeping all options on the table and admits a lot depends on the number of coronavirus cases the area is seeing at the start of school.

"It's an ever-changing thing. Every day those numbers are different so we're looking at that. We're talking to local health authorities for the best plan for the kids to keep them safe," Ferrell added.

She said with the district serving thousands of students, reopening isn't an easy task.

"We are 24,000 students, 1,500 staff members. We're much different than a school system that might only have 3 schools in it. We need to make a plan that works for our students and our community," she explained.

Williams sent this statement after refusing us an interview with Superintendent:

"The Alabama State Department of Education shared its Return to School Roadmap at a press conference earlier today. Following today’s announcement from State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey, our team will continue to finalize our Reset Plan surrounding a return to school in August. We have put much thought, research, and consideration into our plan over the past several months based on stakeholder feedback and guidance from health officials, state leaders, and existing educational plans related to returning to classrooms.

"The health and safety of students, families, and staff members will remain paramount in our Reset Plan. It will be shared when it is finalized by the district. We thank Dr. Mackey and his team at the Alabama State Department of Education for their continued leadership, guidance, and support.

We feel it is important to know we will provide options to families within our learning frameworks so they can make the best decision that fits the needs of their family. Additionally, we will be mindful of meeting the needs of teachers and staff members to engage in teaching and learning while promoting a safe and healthy environment."

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Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
Calhoun416059
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Jackson205515
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Colbert193330
Russell19053
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Dallas186027
Chilton182632
Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
Chambers133043
Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
Cherokee72314
Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
Fayette55713
Conecuh55613
Cleburne5327
Macon53020
Sumter46821
Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 235861

Reported Deaths: 2970
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34739553
Davidson30155328
Knox1208187
Hamilton11289104
Rutherford11165107
Williamson670751
Sumner5715107
Wilson445553
Putnam423054
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Washington318244
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Gibson207838
Dyer207126
Hardeman180432
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Trousdale17447
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Carter143932
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White112214
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Marshall10638
Rhea105916
Bledsoe9944
Cheatham98211
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Giles91134
Campbell8997
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Chester71514
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DeKalb68616
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Polk47613
Jackson4225
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