Huntsville City Schools prepares for some students to return for full week of in-person classes

The second nine weeks of school starts on Monday.

Posted: Oct 22, 2020 6:09 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 6:59 PM

Huntsville City Schools students who chose the in-person learning option will head back to school five days a week. The district started a staggered schedule for in-person learning in September.

Craig Williams, district spokesperson, said when students return on Monday, all desks will have shields around them and the district is also supplying teachers with face shields.

"We started the school year remotely. We then implemented staggered schedule. We're now in a place where we are bringing back traditional students to campus five days a week beginning on Monday. We've been very methodical and we've been very intentional and methodical about doing that," he said.

Williams explained the staggered schedule allowed them to prepare to bring more students back to campus all at once.

"It's allowed us to get good at practicing hand washing, social distancing and wearing masks and kind of getting used to everything for the first time in this age of COVID-19," he said.

Williams shared classrooms were restocked with cleaning supplies during fall break.

"We have equipped all school campuses with cleaning supplies. We have equipped all classrooms with cleaning supplies and in fact here recently," he said.

Williams told WAAY 31 the district is ready for Monday.

"We are very excited to welcome students back on Monday while also remaining extremely aware and mindful of making sure we're practicing those health and safety protocols," he added.

Williams said Monday marks the first day of the second quarter of the school year, and all traditional learning students who are healthy should be in their classrooms.

He also gave us an update on the district's COVID-19 dashboard and how staffing is going as the district prepares to have all in-person students on campus for five days starting next week.

The district's dashboard shows that 90 people are in quarantine right now that are associated with Huntsville High School, and 28 people have tested positive that are associated with the school in the last 14 days. That's significantly higher than any other campus, with the rest of the schools reporting between 0 and 3 positive cases each.

Williams said staffing isn't a concern, but they are looking for additional employees so that if teachers are sick, school won't have to return to virtual learning.

"We are also hiring long-term subs here in Huntsville City Schools. A part of those long-term sub positions in the event that a teacher does have to go into quarantine or does test positive, we will have a long-term sub in place that can help fill that void. We're also working to fill some instructional assistant roles through spur staffing and those individuals will be on campus to provide support in a number of capacities as well," he said.

It's important to note, Huntsville City Schools does not provide a breakdown if students, teachers or staff members are sick, and told us they haven't identified any reason why Huntsville High has more cases than other schools in the district.

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