School districts in Chambers County talk post-holiday reopenings

Updated: Jan. 19, 2021 at 7:28 PM EST
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CHAMBERS COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - As the state of Alabama moves into phase 1B for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, which is set to include teachers and educators, some school districts are welcoming students back to campus after the holiday break.

This is the Chambers County School District’s second week with students inside classrooms.

“We’re all learning from this,” Superintendent Casey Chambley said. “This is a new learning curve for everybody. Everybody is having to adjust on the fly. Our teachers are doing the same thing, students doing the same thing.”

Initially planning to return January 5, Chambley said they pushed the date back a few days after seeing the COVID-related numbers.

“We were going to be about 26 faculty members that were either going to be out quarantined or with positive cases,” he said.

That number is now down to three faculty members.

Last week, they had a choice model where parents could choose the style of learning. This week and going forward, students will stick to the learning mode they chose for the third nine weeks of school.

“I think with the vaccines, with the other procedures in place, the masks, the hygiene, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Chambley said.

Meanwhile, Lanett City Schools will welcome students into classrooms Wednesday after being fully virtual since January 5.

“Safety is our top priority,” Superintendent Jennifer Boyd said. “We had to err on the side of safety.”

For the students who choose to return to in-person learning, they’ll be on campus three days a week, with two days of remote learning. Boyd said this is to give extra time for deep cleaning.

“Our goal is February 1, all of our traditional learning students will be back on campus five days a week,” she said.

According to Boyd, from August until last week, they’ve seen a total of 20 positive COVID-19 cases out of about 975 students.

“We would love for that number to be at zero, however, I am glad we’ve been able to keep the numbers low,” she said.

Both superintendents said they are excited and hopeful about the COVID-19 vaccine.

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