Hartselle City Schools is wrapping up its first week with students and staff back in the classrooms for the start of the school year.
“It’s been great and they’re excited, teachers are excited, principals are excited—it’s been great to have everyone back in the building,” said Superintendent Dr. Dee Dee Jones.
Around 3,100 students have returned to traditional learning, while around 400 are doing distance learning, according to Dr. Jones. No matter which option students chose, the district is prepared to help students with all learning needs, like English Learners (EL).
Dr. Jones says 2% of the student population is classified as EL. Rose Stansberry, the district’s English Language Learners Facilitator and Translator, has helped coordinate programs for online and in-person learning assistance for these students.
“Our high school students are going to offer virtual mentoring. They usually come to the school but are going to do it virtually with our kids that are taking virtual classes,” Stansberry said.
To accommodate both learning options, Dr. Jones says they have asked some traditional teachers to teach distance learning, as well as hired a substitute teacher for each school.
“I did ask the principals to have a sub come on a daily basis because you never when someone’s going to get sick with this and we wanted in case one of our teachers, one of our paraprofessionals, anyone in the building happens to become sick or ill, we wanted to have somebody to stand in,” Dr. Jones said.
Schools will also be doing daily student temperature checks and isolation areas have been added to the nurses' rooms for students who become ill.