Students to finish school year at home, Terrell says Madison City Schools will be prepared
MADISON – Alabama K-12 public school students will complete this school year at home through “alternate methods of instruction” beginning April 6, an order from Gov. Kay Ivey said today.
Extracurricular programs such as band and sports will not resume during this school year. State school Superintendent Eric Mackey will determine how Ivey’s order on instruction is carried out.
Ivey ordered schools to closed by March 19 in an earlier order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but many school systems closed before the deadline.
“We had hoped at that time (March 19 order) that we were taking these cautious steps and would be able to welcome our students back to the classroom,” Ivey said during a news conference today. “However, the virus continues to spread. Today, I have signed a supplemental state of emergency that will allow Dr. Mackey to provide instruction for home starting April 6 for the remainder of the school year.”
The “alternate methods” could include online classes or take-home assignments for students in communities with limited internet access.
“Folks, this is for real,” Ivey said. “This is a deadly situation. … To stay at home if possible will be the only way we can mitigate the spread of this virus. This does not mean you stay at home and invite all your friends to come over for a visit. Stay at home means to limit interaction as much as you can with other people.”
Madison City Schools are scheduled to have spring break next week, but this will likely mean school staff will be working through the week to get ready to teach online.
MCS interim superintendent Eric Terrell said he should get further instructions from Dr. Mackey within the next couple of days. “He will be reaching out to all of the state’s superintendents, sharing other information and plans moving forward for each individual school system,” Terrell said. “As that information comes out I will certainly keep the school board abreast, but also the community informed of what is going in regards with that.”
Before schools were closed, Madison City Schools had been preparing plans for providing online instruction.
“I do have a great feeling that we are well prepared to move forward for the benefit of our students and our community,” Terrell said. “I really believe that. Just please be patient as the state superintendent continues to work out things and get that information passed to us, but I am very confident in our ability to move forward at Madison City Schools.”
The school district held an opportunity to check out a Chromebook or wifi device at Asbury Church tonight. School officials said an additional opportunity may be needed.
In addition, the school board approved an emergency order Thursday evening suspending many of the school district’s policies in regards to making emergency-related decisions and advertising for bids when purchasing supplies. The order gives Terrell the ability to make certain decisions without the school board’s approval as long as he keeps them aware of his actions within a certain time frame. Many of those decisions could involve moving school personnel to different assignments depending on what is needed under the current circumstances.