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Gates open, WiFi restored for coronavirus-altered learning at Sonnie Hereford Elementary School

The school district is taking classes online through their Blended Learning Plan due to the coronavirus. Gates to the school were closed, making internet access difficult.

Posted: Apr 14, 2020 9:14 PM
Updated: Apr 14, 2020 10:53 PM

On Tuesday, WAAY31 spoke with Anthony Davison, principal of Sonnie Hereford Elementary School, to learn why the gates to the school campus were closed last week, blocking some students from accessing their schoolwork.

The state order related to the spread of coronavirus forced school campuses to close down, but Huntsville City Schools is supposed to keep gates open for students, so they access the WiFi network and complete online assignments.

"Huntsville City Schools is providing what we've termed curbside WiFi, and so again it's an effort to make sure all of our children have access to the WiFi that is provided," Davison said. 

The school district is taking classes online through their Blended Learning Plan due to the coronavirus. But recently, the school's gates were closed, making it difficult for students to access the WiFi.

"We were made aware of a situation where our gate was closed, definitely it was no intent to keep anyone off of the grounds as it relates to using the WiFi here at Sonnie Hereford," Davison said. 

The school district tells WAAY31 local law enforcement agencies, including Huntsville Police, have access to the school gates. Davison says there was possibly a miscommunication with one of the agencies.

"With the governor's order, we've been working closely with several agencies and, sometimes people may ride by just to check on our campus and I think it was done inadvertently to keep kids off of the playground to be in accordance with the order," Davison explained. 

Davison says he and his staff will monitor the gates daily to make sure they are open during the day for all students. He says they are learning and trying to improve constantly.

"Day by day, I definitely wouldn't take it week by week, and sometimes it's hour by hour, because again our ultimate goal is to make sure we are reaching all of our children where they are," Davison said. 

The gates are open from 8 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday. The school district says the WiFi should be accessible to someone 300 yards from the school.

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