Hoover elementary students will return to in-person instruction 4 days a week

Hoover elementary students will return to in-person instruction 4 days a week
(Source: WBRC)

HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Hoover City Schools' leaders announced elementary school students will move from a staggered in-person/remote learning schedule to a four-day a week in-person schedule.

The change affects families that opted for in-person instruction.

The new schedule will start on Monday, September 21, 2020.

Middle and high school students who have chosen in-person instruction will remain in the staggered schedule at this point.

Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy said her decisions are based on county and state COVID-19 data and with health and wellness in mind.

This is the letter sent to parents Tuesday night:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we address the challenges of COVID-19 and its impact on our school district and, more specifically, its impact on our students.

Approximately 34% of all HCS students chose virtual instruction instead of in-person. For students (Pre-K through 12th grade) who chose in-person instruction, they have attended school on a staggered schedule for the past four weeks.

On Monday, September 21, our elementary students (Pre-K through 5th grade) who chose in-person will attend school four days per week, with the exception of Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, elementary students will not come to school but will be given assignments by their teacher to reinforce instruction and to support forward learning. Our elementary teachers will have an opportunity on Wednesdays to support students including those who may be in quarantine as a result of exposure or who are in isolation because of being symptomatic. Our middle and high school students who have chosen in-person instruction will remain in the staggered schedule at this point.

It is important to share that we will do our best to support safe spacing between and among our elementary students who are in-person, but we will not be able to guarantee six feet of social distancing on the school bus or in the classroom. It is also important to know that it is our intent to return elementary students and all HCS students (except those who chose virtual) to five days of instruction as soon as reasonably possible but no later than the beginning of our second 9-week grading period which begins on October 19.

Some of the points we considered when choosing to add in-person instructional days for elementary students include younger children are less likely to contract and transmit COVID-19, elementary students do not change classes making it easier to cohort or keep them separated, other school districts in our area successfully opened their school year with elementary students attending five days per week without major incidents, and the Jefferson County Health Officer affirmed bringing elementary children back to school for additional days is a reasonable next step for us.

We have and will continue to be in close communication with state and local health officers, state and local leaders, and we will continue to review the latest information on COVID-19 .including trends in our state, Jefferson County, Shelby County, and in HCS and surrounding school districts.

We will communicate with you as we move forward to the next step of getting our middle and high school students, who have chosen in-person instruction, back to school for five instructional days

Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.