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Madison City Schools to stay on hybrid schedule until winter break

MADISON – Students in Madison City Schools who have opted to attend in-person classes will be on a hybrid schedule for the rest of the semester.

Last week, MCS superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols said schools would return to a hybrid schedule this week in an effort to continue school-based interaction.

“As all of you are aware, the current numbers of COVID-19 have risen these past few weeks,” he said in a message to parents. “With the rise in cases and the corresponding shortage of substitutes, we will follow a hybrid schedule after the break for all students.”

The school district used a hybrid schedule earlier this fall when they transitioned from all-virtual education to allowing students to attend classes in school if they wanted. Students were split into A and B groups by alphabet.

The A group attends on Monday and Tuesday and the B group on Thursday and Friday. All groups are virtual on Wednesday to allow for buildings to be sanitized between rotational groups.

“This week our district team has constantly monitored the current COVID-19 issue in our school district,” Dr. Nichols said in an update to parents on Wednesday. “Furthermore, we have requested guidance and information from our local health officials. Given the current outlook, Madison City Schools will continue on the current hybrid cycle until the winter break. This will apply to all school levels: elementary, middle and high schools.”

Dr. Nichols has been stressing the school district is getting very close to going all-virtual. School officials hope the hybrid scheduling will allow some form of in-person instruction to continue.

“We know this is a challenge to do, but with the rate of infection this high, if we don’t stay hybrid and keep social distancing at a maximum inside the schools, we could very easily and quickly end up quarantining large groups of staffs and students and cause the potential to have to go completely virtual,” Nichols added. “I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding and support.”

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, there have been 2,584 positive cases of COVID in Madison County within the past 14 days out of 10,639 people tested.

Huntsville Hospital Health Systems reported 317 of their patients throughout all their facilities have COVID. Madison Hospital has been reporting a daily average of 30 COVID patients. On Tuesday, the hospital reported that three of those were on ventilators and five were in ICU.

So far, there have been a total 13,925 people in Madison County test positive for COVID this year with 150 deaths from the virus.

In addition, Nichols said Bob Jones High School will remain virtual the rest of this week due to a boiler issue that surfaced Tuesday. “With the expectation of getting the heating system restored, we hope BJHS will join all of our schools on the rotational schedule next week,” Nichols added.

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