Ahead of the staggered Aug. 24 start date, Colbert County Schools are working to address two main concerns of many school districts at this time: meals and internet access.
Superintendent Dr. Gale Satchel says that during these difficult times, there has been some good news.
“We have applied for a grant with the Food and Drug Administration and every student will get a free breakfast in the Colbert County School District, so it doesn’t matter your income or not,” Satchel said.
With the grant, Satchel says the district will be able to offer free breakfast to all students for at least this school year, no matter if they have chosen remote or traditional learning.
Satchel says they plan to provide breakfast and lunch to students learning remotely through a drive-through service.
“We do have plans to have what we call a drive-through, similar to what we did back in March, that those kids will come through and they will all get breakfast and lunch for a certain number of days and they will come back. As of today, that serving day will be every Wednesday,” Satchel said.
Internet access for all students remains an issue. Satchel says buses will not have WiFi, but the district has expanded broadband services at high schools and public libraries.
She hopes that recent funding from Gov. Kay Ivey aimed at increasing internet access will help students with certain financial needs to install broadband in their homes.
“We’re hoping that some of those big marketplaces or entities will provide service for our boys and girls. For those kids who would qualify, they should be students who receive free and reduced lunch, they would have that opportunity to apply for those extra broadband services,” Satchel said.
Surveys closed this week for families to decide between the traditional and remote learning options, with students expected to return to traditional learning Aug. 24-27.