Huntsville parents seek other school options, citing lack of clarity from district

On Thursday, the district spokesperson sent an email saying no interviews or media requests would be answered until further notice.

Posted: Jul 23, 2020 6:01 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2020 10:48 PM

The clock is ticking because Huntsville City Schools parents now have 24 hours to decide if they will enroll their students in remote learning or Huntsville's virtual academy.

The district says remote learning will mimic traditional school but just be online. The virtual academy will allow students to work at their own pace. Both platforms are supposed to follow the same curriculum. However, the option chosen by parents can't be changed until after the first semester.

Huntsville City Schools sent an email Thursday morning to WAAY 31 about our requests to learn more about the plan when school starts in August. Craig Williams, the district spokesperson, said the district is not answering any media questions until further notice, as it works on a plan for the upcoming school year.

Some parents told us with a lack of information, they're pulling their students out of the district's schools.

Christy Smith, a Huntsville City Schools parent, said Wednesday's announcement for all students to learn online the first nine weeks of school didn't sit right with her family.

"I think if you're going to make a bold announcement to affect everyone's lives that you should probably at least answer the questions that everyone have about it," she said. "To say choose this or this, but we aren't going to give you any information about what this or this is, it makes me very much doubt they're going to get it together."

Smith explained her family read the district's reset plan released two weeks ago, but it doesn't answer questions about how everyone learning remotely will work.

"I think they took 110 pages to say a whole lot of nothing. I did read it. I tried to read it. If you're going to put out a document to that extent, it should probably say something, and it was not informative in the least. It just didn't have any facts or figures. It was more of a brainstorming document," she said.

Smith explained with a lack of clarity from the district, and not being able to get anyone on the phone to answer her questions, she started looking at other options.

"I called six different private schools. They said they were inundated with phone calls starting at 9:15 yesterday morning and that they are filling up so fast, they're overwhelmed," she said.

Smith told WAAY 31 her son won't attend Huntsville City Schools ever again.

"I don't know if it will involve him going to private school for the rest of his schooling or us moving out of the district, but either way, he will not return to Huntsville City Schools because it is very revealing, the handling of any emergency has been inadequate," she said.

Smith shared other parents she talked to are having a hard time making a decision with a lack of information.

Williams said none of our requests for more information will be answered until the district's leadership team feels they are prepared for the start of school.

Parents have until 4 p.m. on Friday to decide the best learning option for their students. Read more HERE and HERE.

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