What public schools could look like after the coronavirus outbreak

Many superintendents told WAAY31 the fall school semester will not be the same as normal because of the coronavirus.

Posted: Apr 17, 2020 5:18 PM
Updated: Apr 18, 2020 9:30 PM

WAAY31 spent the week asking what will the new normal look like after the coronavirus outbreak.Friday, we focused on the biggest concerns for so many of you,schools!

WAAY31 reached out to multiple school districts across North Alabama. Many superintendent's told us they can see school districts using more online and distance learning courses in the future. They also expect, or at least hope for, rapid coronavirus testing at schools, but all superintendents agreed they don't see things going back to normal until a vaccine is made.

"I don't think it's doing to be the norm to sit at long tables with rows of 25 kids and staff members fellow shipping over lunch," said Colbert County Schools Superintendent, Dr. Gale Satchel.

What Satchel said she possibly sees is mandatory coronavirus vaccination and possibly even a health card for students.

"That's definitely something that's going to be on the table and if it's something required by the state health department we will implement that," said Satchel.

Satchel and Jason Barnett from Deklab County Schools told WAAY31 spacing students out in classrooms is something both districts are looking at but to maintain social distance on school buses will be difficult, which leaves school systems looking for guidance.

"I honestly think that's something the state department of health and our state government as a whole will address before we do," said Dr. Jimmy Shaw, the superintendent of Florence City Schools. "I am one of the optimist that think's were going back but I am also one of those who isn't sure we'll stay back."

Shaw said one of the hurdles they needed to jump through was ensuring every child had a chrome book or iPad. Another big question WAAY31 asked Satchel is what sports in the fall could look like too.

"We're already behind as far as spring training those types of things so I think it would be a challenge to open a traditional season with all the non traditional things we've had to endure in this past season," said Satchel.

Madison County Schools told WAAY31 it's also working on a plan on how to deal with the coronavirus in the fall.

"It's going to reflect what's needed. Of course, right now we don't know what that is. But we will adapt and adjust so students get what they need to be successful," said Allen Perkins, Superintendent Madison County Schools

Shaw, Satchel, and other superintendents across North Alabama said they are planning for what they can and trying to adjust to every scenario possible to give students the best education, even in a pandemic.

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