Statewide back to school plan still in the works

ALSDE plan for fall still in the works

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State School Superintendent Eric Mackey’s says he hopes to provide a plan soon on how and which schools can reopen the fall.

Alabama is looking at other states and what they are doing. Georgia unveiled its road map to returning to the classroom last week. One key aspect calls for creating different plans depending on how badly the Coronavirus is spreading in that school district.

Under the Georgia Plan, school districts that have a high spread rate may keep their schools closed. Those with more moderate spread will be a hybrid of return to school and e-learning.

“It will be tiered. First tiered. Second tiered. Third tier. Fourth tier. Based on what happens on the spread of the COVID in the community,” Mackey said.

Those with a low spread will have the traditional instructional classroom. The Georgia plans requires under the moderate tier to have everyone screened for their temperature every day and to have all teachers wear masks. Buses will have masks available for students and drivers.

“There is no question our students will be safe as we can make them when we return to school in the fall. I can’t give any specifics from the plan yet,” Mackey said.

Mackey said the state is making efforts to purchase internet infrastructure for schools systems that may need to continue long distance learning. Some school systems are still learning which students want to return to class or not.

“Identifying which students plan to be in a traditional setting and which student’s parents are choosing to keep them in a virtual setting in the fall,” Mackey said.

Mackey said the cost of the virtual learning has ranged up to tens of millions of dollars. They are still looking. There were hopes Mackey would have his plan ready next week bu that may be pushed back.

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