COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Alabama State Department of Education has rolled out plans to reopen schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.
State School Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey held a press conference Friday with State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris to discuss returning to the classroom.
“Absolutely, our campuses will open for in-person instruction. It is our intention that all of our campuses will be open for in-person instruction. That there will be an opportunity for in person-in classroom instruction for every child in the state whose parent chooses to send them to school all year long,” said Mackey.
Much of the hard decisions for reopening schools will go to local school systems. They will decide things like whether students and teachers have to wear masks and how much social distancing schools have to enforce. Some other decisions made include all desks should face in one direction, avoiding clusters of kids for things like reading time. Students who get sick will be quarantined on site with a mask. The school nurse would wear an N95 mask until parents can come pick them up.
Following the announcement, one Smiths Station mother said her son will be attending in-person classes when school opens.
“I know my son wants to go to school and I know that’s where my kids learn best,” said Cherie Meade. Virtual school, when it’s a necessity we have to do it. He just does much better at school.”
While all Alabama schools are expected to reopen with traditional classes, online learning options for those who want to keep their children home will available also. The main concern Meade has is not having enough information on protocol for potential coronavirus outbreaks in the schools. According to Mackey, the road map for reopening schools could change depending on the pandemic.