St. Clair County Schools create 6-phase plan to customize COVID-19 response

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ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Schools across the region are taking different approaches to schooling as COVID-19 numbers hit another historic and bleak milestone in Alabama.

While many school systems are opting for a one-size-fits-all approach, St. Clair County school has created a six-phase plan that allows them to customize learning options based on each individual schools’ COVID-19 numbers. Superintendent Mike Howard said it’s not positive cases that are keeping students home, it’s exposure.

“Our positive rates are still very manageable, around 1 percent,” Howard said. “What we’re seeing is the quarantining for exposure; that’s our issue.”

Howard said their six-phase plan has options ranging from fully tradition to fully virtual learning.

“Right now, most of our schools are open on stage one, which is traditional, however, Springville and Moody transitioned to stage 2, starting tomorrow,” Howard said.

Stage two is a staggered format, with the schools closing midweek to allow for additional cleaning. To see a full explanation of all stages, click here.

Last week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey emphasized her priority in keeping the state’s classrooms open.

“Our younger children don’t do well on virtual learning so we need to have our children back in school and take all the precautions necessary to get through this,” Ivey said.

For St. Clair county schools, they’re working to make that possible by looking at each school individually, and deciding which learning option is best.

Howard said he understands how the pandemic created a fluid situation in schools, and they are prepared to make changes as necessary based on case count.


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