Petition to keep Hoover City Schools on staggered scheduling is circulating

Petition to stay on staggered schedule in Hoover

HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - A change.org petition to keep Hoover City Schools on a staggered schedule is circulating.

This comes as the district announced Monday that it will transition to 5-day a week instruction for traditional students.

More than 800 people have signed that petition since it appeared on the change.org website less than two days ago.

One parent who signed that petition said her family is vulnerable to COVID-19, and she’s concerned the virus could be brought home.

When Valerie Baker learned there was a petition to continue staggered scheduling at Hoover City Schools, she didn’t hesitate to sign.

“For one thing, I believe it is too soon to try to go to five days a week. I can’t see how that is safe given the circumstances of the cases that aren’t decreasing as quickly as I believe some people think they are,” Baker said.

And local doctors agree.

“They will be Trojan horses bringing the infection back to their family and mom and dad who are at a higher risk of getting sick are going to start showing up at our emergency rooms in the next two to three weeks,” said Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at UAB, Dr. Michael Saag.

Local doctors said Sentinel Testing at the district level could help stop the spread, but so far only colleges are doing that.

Hoover school leaders said they are listening to feedback and respect everyone’s right to petition, but they said students will only come back full-time if science permits.

“We are in touch with the Jefferson County Department of Health, the Alabama Department of Public Health, we’re tracking the cases per 100,000, we’re tracking cases within our own community with our own school system just to see what those data trends are,” said Public Relations Coordinator for Hoover City Schools Jason Gaston.

“And just to let you know, among our student population we have less than half of 1% of student positivity rate and that number has tracked steadily for these first two weeks of school,” Gaston explained.

After four weeks of staggered scheduling, school leaders said if those numbers continue to hold, and social distancing can be properly maintained, then the plan would be to shift back to 5-days a week, but that only applies to students who chose in-person instruction.

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