Area schools look ahead to next year

Preparing to reopen schools

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Students may not be in the classroom, but school is still in session.

Some are already thinking ahead to next year, and some noticeable changes could be in store this fall.

Jefferson County Superintendent, Walter Gonsoulin, said his schools are well prepared for the upcoming school year.

“We have 1, 2, Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C,” Dr. Gonsoulin said.

"Plan A is that we start school in August traditionally, as we typically do, and so we're well versed with that," Gonsoulin said.

But in the wake of the Coronavirus, tradition may be a thing of the past.

“Plan B is if we have to come up with any virtual or distance learning. We’ve done the groundwork right now to determine what areas need internet access, students for Chromebooks,” Dr. Gonsoulin said.

Meanwhile, Barrett Elementary School principal, Tikki Hines, is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

“We’ll have to consider social distancing making sure we have the children spaced apart at least 6 feet. We’re also looking at whether they’ll need masks. So, we’re looking at providing masks, and what would that look like,” Hines said.

And while schools have faced many challenges during this pandemic, school leaders have already learned valuable lessons.

“We’ve used this experience to help us. There are some things we don’t want to go back to. There are some things that we always want to embrace,” Gonsoulin said.

“We’re all learning together on how to make these adjustments and these transitions through this pandemic, and we want them to understand that there are challenges. Everything is not going to be exactly how we planned it to be, but we’ve always got to have a plan B and figure out how we can work together to solve the problem,” Hines said.

Both school districts will have more concrete plans as we get closer to the school year.

They’re also awaiting on guidance from the Alabama Department of Education.

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.