School Check-in: Pell City Schools

Pell City deals with quarantined teachers

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We’re continuing to check in with districts about the back to school transition.

Pell City School’s Superintendent, Dr. James Martin, says the overall transition has been smooth. Tuesday, marked Day 3 of the new school year.

About 74 percent of students are enrolled in the traditional learning option. 26 percent are doing virtual learning.

7th - 12th graders enrolled in traditional learning are starting the year on a staggered schedule where they report every other day.

Dr. Martin says kindergarten and some first grade teachers at one of the district’s elementary schools experienced a COVID exposure before the school year started. As a result, the district delayed bringing them in for in-person learning as a safety precaution. Those teachers and students will report September 1.

Superintendent Dr. Martin says the district’s nurses are reviewing the updates provided Monday by the state to the Health Toolkit leaders are using to guide COVID response. The state advised COVID symptoms are now classified as either major or minor.

A major symptom would be a new, persistent cough. An example of a minor symptom would be fever or chills.

Dr. Martin says the district will take all symptoms seriously and will continue to do things like check temperatures to err on the side of caution.

“We’re going to still do those things as a precautionary measure,” said Dr. Martin, “Discussed purchasing thermal imagining stations for some schools to check a large number of students at one time.”

District leaders say some of the changes they made because of COVID may continue even beyond this year. The superintendent says the staggered start worked really well. Teachers had more interaction with students to set the foundation for the year because they were in small groups.

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