Announcing Remote Start to School Year
Huntsville City Schools (HCS) announced plans today to begin the new school year remotely. All students will engage in remote learning during the first nine weeks in order to mitigate risk due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
HCS is joining both Madison City Schools and the Madison County School System in opting to begin the first nine weeks online. HCS Superintendent Christie Finley and leaders from the other districts made the joint announcement during a press conference on Wednesday.
“The health and safety of students, families and staff members is paramount,” Finley said. “This was not an easy decision, and this was not something we took lightly. We join our nearby school districts and school districts across the country in working to mitigate risk by beginning the school year remotely.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March and Gov. Kay Ivey announced a statewide school closure, there were 39 confirmed cases in Alabama with only one confirmed case in Madison County. There are currently more than 65,000 confirmed cases across Alabama including more than 3,500 in Madison County.
District leaders will reassess health conditions during the first nine weeks to determine a learning framework for the remainder of the semester. If health conditions improve, the district may consider transitioning to a staggered schedule.
Families enrolled in Huntsville Virtual Academy (HVA) can continue participating in HVA and not be impacted by the transition to remote learning. The deadline to enroll in HVA will remain Friday, July 24, 2020, at 4 p.m. Families may begin the enrollment process by visiting huntsvillecityschools.org/hva. Also, to provide families maximum flexibility, families who previously enrolled in HVA may unenroll if they do so by Friday, July 24, 2020.
HCS is working to eliminate barriers by providing families with curbside Wi-Fi at all school sites and working with internet providers to assist families with low-cost internet options. Additionally, HCS will implement curbside meal service locations at select sites across the community.
The district will be providing families and staff members with more information related to the beginning of the school year.
The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. View the district’s Reset Plan by visiting huntsvillecityschools.org/reset.