Parents, officials discuss Eufaula City Schools reopening plan

Parents, officials discuss Eufaula City Schools reopening plan

EUFAULA, Ala. (WTVM) - As coronavirus numbers increase in the Yellowhammer State, moms and dads in East Alabama are analyzing the reopening plans provided by their children’s school districts.

Eufaula City Schools (ECS) just announced its tentative plan a little over a month before they intend to start back to school.

It’s emotional time for parents in Eufaula.

“It’s very frustrating,” one parent, Chave Davis, said. “I’m stressed out.”

Chiquita Daniels, another parent, agreed.

“Right now, I’m nervous,” she said.

Eufaula City Schools, like most other school districts throughout Alabama, are giving parents the option between in-person instruction and virtual learning.

“I’m still up in the air,” Davis said. “I’m one of those. I’m still up in the air.”

With concerns over the health of her children, as well as the health of school employees, teachers, and staff, Musheera Williams said she knows exactly what her children will be doing come fall.

“Virtual learning is awesome,” she said. “My kids made all honor roll with the virtual classes. I am all for it 100 percent.”

When it comes to that virtual learning, according to the district’s plan, students will not work at their own pace but rather will have to meet deadlines set by a Eufaula Schools teacher. There will be real-time learning as well as independent learning.

There are also some challenges for the district.

“We’re trying to figure out how to get internet access to those students who don’t have it,” Superintendent Patrick Brannan said.

According to the plan released by the district, for in-person instruction, they’re taking extra precautions, using grab-and-go style meals, encouraging parents to drive their children to school, and emphasizing the importance of parents monitoring their children’s health and keeping them home if they appear sick.

“We are going to require masks on buses,” Brannon said. “We are requiring the masks there, and we are going to have some hand sanitizer for them to keep their hands clean.”

Regardless of the plan parents choose, Brannon said he wants to emphasize that these plans will inevitably change this summer and throughout the fall semester, based on coronavirus numbers, advice from officials, and feedback from parents.

“We provided a plan that is general guidance and what we’re looking at doing today,” he said. “But as we continue to monitor and the cases continue to go up, we’re taking that into account and we’re planning for options to try to provide the safest environment we can.”

One plan that’s already changed is sports and extracurricular activities. Initially, the school announced only students who choose in-person instruction can participate in extracurriculars. ECS announced Monday that changed. Now, all students are able to participate,.

Officials said school is set to begin August 20.

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