A Sand Mountain school district is in the middle of controversy as it considers a schedule change next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Albertville City Schools superintendent explained the discussion is very preliminary, but it could cut summer break short. The potential change is getting mixed reactions from parents.
"I think if people have a good attitude about it, it'll be a good thing," said Brian Black, an Albertville City Schools parent.
The "balanced" calendar would start school earlier, but add longer breaks throughout the year to make way for literacy camps. Some parents say they're worried about cutting the summer break shorter after an already hectic year for students.
Superintendent Dr. Boyd English explained why this is being considered.
"The impact that the 2019-2020 school year had on us from an academic, social, emotional and mental health aspect was detrimental," said English.
In that school year, they missed more than 40 days of class. The potential new calendar would extend breaks and give more time for literacy camps during those breaks to help kids who fell behind, especially because of the missed days due to the pandemic.
"We have to solve some issues that we have that have arisen directly because of COVID-19," said English.
Right now, the district is still in the discussion phase with steps to go before a vote could be added to the agenda.
“Local school systems have had to be innovative like never before over the past year. The impact of COVID-19 varies from system to system, so the response to that impact will vary as well. We support schools taking leadership positions and doing what they feel is best for their schools and communities," Michael Sibley, Communication Director for the Alabama Department of Health.