Jefferson County school teachers prepared for new school year

Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 10:59 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Earlier this month, Jefferson County Schools pushed the school start date back to September 1 to give teachers more time to prepare.

Superintendent Dr. Walter Gonsoulin said teachers and staff are ready for school to start.

“I can say they are feeling more comfortable than if we would have had them jump right in with the students,” Dr. Gonsoulin said. “It’s not going to be like we did it when we stopped in March, where it was more of an enrichment enhancement and parents had to do a lot of it. This time teachers are actually going to do the teaching.”

Teachers will be in their classrooms and students will sign on from home.

“We’ve done training, we have classes on the web page for them to access and we are ready to see what all ups and downs tomorrow brings,” Dr. Gonsoulin said. “We are going to be prepared to embrace either way.”

Dr. Gonsoulin said not all 36,000 students in Jefferson County Schools can log on from home.

“In certain areas of Jefferson County, it does not matter if you give them a Chromebook or device, they do not have broadband or internet access,” Dr. Gonsoulin said.

Dr. Gonsoulin said those students will be allowed to come into the school building, but it will still be limited access.

“We have them coming on campus,” Dr. Gonsoulin said. “Where we are still doing remote learning, but they will have access to the campus and a very small controlled population to help assist those children.”

The district is set to be on a remote learning schedule for the first nine weeks.

“We are excited about having them back this school year,” Dr. Gonsoulin said. “I know these are some unusual times, but we are dedicated and committed to ensuring that we meet every students needs.”

The superintendent said his goal is for students to return for in person learning before the scheduled remote nine weeks are over.

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