Birmingham City School high schoolers return to campus; District dealing with case reports at Hudson K-8

Balancing school reopening with COVID cases

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham City Schools welcomed more students back into buildings for in-person learning Monday, though one school in the district remains closed due to COVID-19.

Hudson K-8 students and staff started the week remotely after transitioning back to virtual leaning due to COVID. A total of six positive cases were reported by the district over the weekend.

“As we began to look at the numbers of those who tested positive, but also those quarantined,” said Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan. "We wouldn’t have been able to feasibly operate the school over the next two weeks because we wouldn’t have had enough staff.”

The transition home comes as Tuggle Elementary reopened Monday after it was shut down because of case reports. Dr. Sullivan says the COVID incidents at the schools are different. He says the mid-week shut down at Tuggle was to proactively prevent COVID-19 exposure as they monitored case reports - some that came in even before students returned.

“Wanted to get ahead of it. Didn’t want to get into a situation where we had significant spread. Once we sat that, we started taking action to make sure the building was clean," said Dr. Sullivan.

He says Hudson’s shut down is to contain exposure after a sharp influx of cases were reported. Students and staff will return after Thanksgiving break.

Dr. Sullivan says he weighed those COVID incidents as the district prepared to bring high school students back.

“It didn’t warrant us changing course at this time, but certainly if we see an uptick or rise in cases, we are poised to make a decision to move back to virtual or continue in the blended model,” said Dr. Sullivan.

Dr. Sullivan says the first week with students also taught them COVID safety lessons. He says one thing they plan to focus on moving forward is continuing to enhance social distancing measures.

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