Alabama superintendents meeting to discuss fall semester, COVID-19

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama’s top educators will soon be heading to south Alabama for the School Superintendents of Alabama Summer Conference.

At this meeting, Alabama state superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey is expected to release the guidelines for the 2020 fall semester and how schools can protect staff and students from COVID-19. The meeting will be held in Point Clear.

Walter Gonsoulin, superintendent of Jefferson County schools, said they’ve been working on their reopening plans for months, but have not made an official announcement. He said he’s looking forward to hearing from Mackey and other superintendents on their fall plans.

“We look at brainstorming, sharing ideas, and sharing concepts. We have some very creative innovative superintendents across the district so Jefferson County for instance, being the size of Jefferson County, we can be compared to Shelby county in how we’re spread out but meeting with all superintendents, I get to meet with other superintendents who have same or greater number of students so we have the same challenge,” Gonsoulin said.

Gonsoulin said the school district plans to released their fall plan by July 14. He said they’re also finalizing a contract to bring a virtual learning option to students.

“Our board is super supportive so that relieves some of the stress but I think COVID-19 has given us a gift. It has introduced us to think of different ways,” he said. “Even with virtual school, the virtual aspect I think it sped up the conversation and made it easier and shined a light on what were our gaps not just in our county but state.”

The state’s plans are expected to be released to the public as early as Thursday.


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