Alabama schools set to close, school lunches a concern

Published: Mar. 14, 2020 at 7:25 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2020 at 7:27 AM CDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) -Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools, Dr. Walter Gonsoulin says he’s grateful for these extra few days before students go on break, saying it gives teachers and parents extra time to prepare.

“We didn’t want to do something that was too quick because we know parents need to make, need some time to make decisions for their children,” says State Superintendent Eric Mackey.

Mackey made that announcement Friday. And while parents rush to set things in order, we’re told locally, school faculty have been preparing for such an event.

“We’ve also said, in a worst-case scenario, what would we do? And so we knew we wanted to get some information packets that will keep our children engaged in academics," says Dr. Gonsoulin.

Teachers have been preparing 14-day packets with learning resources to keep fresh in the minds of students at home what they’ve been learning in the classroom.

“It is not meant to teach our children, it’s not meant to introduce new information, but it’s introduced so they can practice."

School systems have also been given the clear to enter into a summer feeding program model during this break. Dr. Gonsoulin says they plan to offer assistance of some kind, it’s just a matter of figuring out the logistics.

“It’s going to be a tough time for all of us and in particular some sectors of our community more than others. We understand that in terms of feeding and meals, our cafeteria people will be meeting Saturday to discuss those options. We are also reaching out to community partners so that we can work together to provide services for our families even beyond food.”

They’ll consider doing a deep clean while the students are out. We asked Dr. Gonsoulin if he thinks this could extend longer than two weeks.

“I don’t rightly know, but what I can tell you is that we will be prepared either way.”

Students are set to return Monday April 6th. Stay tuned to WBRC Fox 6 in case that changes.

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