State Superintendent Eric Mackey Unveils Plan to Reopen Schools
On Friday, June 26, State Superintendent Eric Mackey unveiled the plan to reopening schools. State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey says expectation is that campuses will re-open in August for in person instruction but there will be remote learning options.
He says polls show that about 15% of Alabama parents still don’t feel comfortable sending their kids back to school.
Mackey says that most of the $18 Million in federal funding the Alabama State Department of Education received because of the COVID-19 pandemic will go towards remote learning materials for students. The state is working to put more wi-fi on school buses.
Improving Remote Learning will focus on five areas:
- A statewide digital curriculum
- Devices for Students
- Professional Development for Students
- State wide learning systems
- Connectivity in Rural areas through broadband expansion, wi-fi access, and Hot Spots.
“This will be the most difficult school year for us to get through,” Mackey says. He says that students should expect things not to be normal upon returning to school. “Eating lunch will look different and sanitation will be increase,” Mackey also said.
The road map is broken down into three distinct recommendations:
Many people have asked whether athletics will resume or not and the Alabama State Department of Education and the Alabama High School Athletic Association are working on a plan for competitive sports. But there will be sports in the fall.
The Alabama Department of Public Health will be responsible for contact tracing in schools. State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris says, “There most likely will be cases that occur in schools”.
Mackey says that each school system will be different and have a different plan.
Alabama schools are encouraged to start mid to late August.