Huntsville City Schools still working on plan to return to classroom

The school board was the only one in the district who would talk to us about what goes into making reopening decisions.

Posted: Jun 26, 2020 7:49 PM

WAAY 31 worked to learn from Huntsville city schools about the school district's plans for the fall after the Alabama State Department of Education's announcement on Friday.

Friday, was the last day of Huntsville City Schools graduation for the year. While the day is all about the graduates, a lot of parents want to know what to expect next school year. It’s a question I tried asking Superintendent Christie Finley the past two days.

"Our superintendent is getting ready for graduation that's our focus right this second," said spokesperson Craig Williams when we asked for an interview with Finley on Friday.

We asked if she had time in the hours between graduations.

"I mean look, she has a packed day, Sydney, that's the bottom line. She has a packed day. Right now, she's here for graduation and that's her sole focus. That's what we need to be focused on right now. If you'll excuse me, I have to go get ready myself," he said before walking away from us.

Elisa Ferrell, Huntsville School Board President, was the only person with the district willing to talk about plans for next school year.

"We have parents on both ends of the spectrum parents that have to work and want us to reopen and parents that are concerned about the possible viral infection," she said.

She wants parents to know the district is keeping all options on the table and admits a lot depends on the number of coronavirus cases the area is seeing at the start of school.

"It's an ever-changing thing. Every day those numbers are different so we're looking at that. We're talking to local health authorities for the best plan for the kids to keep them safe," Ferrell added.

She said with the district serving thousands of students, reopening isn't an easy task.

"We are 24,000 students, 1,500 staff members. We're much different than a school system that might only have 3 schools in it. We need to make a plan that works for our students and our community," she explained.

Williams sent this statement after refusing us an interview with Superintendent:

"The Alabama State Department of Education shared its Return to School Roadmap at a press conference earlier today. Following today’s announcement from State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey, our team will continue to finalize our Reset Plan surrounding a return to school in August. We have put much thought, research, and consideration into our plan over the past several months based on stakeholder feedback and guidance from health officials, state leaders, and existing educational plans related to returning to classrooms.

"The health and safety of students, families, and staff members will remain paramount in our Reset Plan. It will be shared when it is finalized by the district. We thank Dr. Mackey and his team at the Alabama State Department of Education for their continued leadership, guidance, and support.

We feel it is important to know we will provide options to families within our learning frameworks so they can make the best decision that fits the needs of their family. Additionally, we will be mindful of meeting the needs of teachers and staff members to engage in teaching and learning while promoting a safe and healthy environment."

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 51°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 47°
Decatur
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Fort Payne
Mostly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 54°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522131

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754831494
Mobile39111799
Madison34084500
Tuscaloosa25396444
Montgomery24037573
Shelby23210242
Baldwin20714302
Lee15614166
Calhoun14350311
Morgan14164273
Etowah13696348
Marshall12007220
Houston10408279
Elmore10018203
Limestone9858148
Cullman9507191
St. Clair9478236
Lauderdale9271233
DeKalb8760183
Talladega8122173
Walker7146276
Autauga6760106
Jackson6760110
Blount6529133
Colbert6234132
Coffee5431113
Dale4779111
Russell430939
Franklin420982
Chilton4114110
Covington4068115
Tallapoosa3915148
Escambia390374
Dallas3525150
Chambers3516122
Clarke347260
Marion3072100
Pike306576
Lawrence296295
Winston273272
Bibb256361
Marengo248461
Geneva246275
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213168
Fayette209460
Henry188144
Cherokee182744
Randolph177241
Monroe172740
Washington165338
Macon156148
Clay150155
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne146741
Lamar139734
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock121940
Conecuh109528
Perry107626
Sumter103232
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 830484

Reported Deaths: 12049
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby927281585
Davidson87309923
Knox49411623
Hamilton43254481
Rutherford41816420
Williamson27237214
Sumner23155339
Montgomery19075224
Wilson17979224
Out of TN1794598
Unassigned16655134
Sullivan16096287
Blount14963194
Bradley14518147
Washington14129242
Sevier13116174
Maury13021168
Putnam11155173
Madison10771240
Robertson9567127
Anderson8599171
Hamblen8478170
Greene7715152
Tipton7216102
Coffee6824121
Dickson6724109
Cumberland6555127
Carter6443156
Bedford6409127
Gibson6387144
McMinn634295
Roane6174102
Jefferson6061121
Loudon601169
Lawrence578686
Hawkins5766106
Monroe570295
Warren550881
Dyer5357104
Franklin508388
Fayette490377
Obion449996
Cocke442998
Cheatham442254
Rhea430375
Lincoln429563
Marshall410358
Campbell408462
Weakley401962
Giles393998
Henderson372475
Macon357376
Carroll357182
White353968
Hardin349166
Hardeman345863
Lauderdale314244
Henry311875
Marion308346
Claiborne305573
Scott305145
Overton296360
Wayne294234
Hickman279645
McNairy276754
DeKalb274953
Smith273938
Haywood268161
Grainger258449
Trousdale248722
Morgan245539
Fentress238046
Johnson230238
Bledsoe209411
Chester209351
Crockett200948
Polk199024
Unicoi194149
Cannon188831
Union185634
Grundy177232
Humphreys173621
Lake169526
Sequatchie166428
Benton162940
Decatur157338
Lewis155726
Meigs134123
Stewart130028
Jackson129635
Clay109031
Houston108333
Perry105728
Moore99717
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54712

Community Events