Saraland Schools expects about 88% of students back to class on Thursday

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SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) — Saraland students go back to the classroom on Thursday, August 6, for the first time since March. The district is one of the first in the state reopening its doors.

Students ages six and older will wear masks, or neck gaiters, in the school’s colors any time they move around. The school district created a new slogan, “When you move, you mask,” helping students remember when to wear one.

Saraland’s Superintendent Dr. Aaron Milner expects about 88% of the district’s students in classrooms for face-to-face learning on August 6. He said, “It’s about on par with our community, what I was expecting, but with that said, we didn’t know when we put out the survey, or telling them, asking them what they requested, we didn’t know what kind of results we’d get back.”

When those students get to school, they’ll see changes visible from the front door. Dr. Milner said, “They’ll notice a different process for when they enter the building. They’ll be going straight to a classroom.”

Classrooms are set up differently maximizing the space between desks. Another measure, thermal scanning thermometers have been distributed across Saraland Schools. Students will have temperature checks periodically, or when a student shows signs of sickness.

Dr. Milner said, “Biggest thing we want parents to understand is that we need them to be flexible. Our teachers have put in a lot of long hours, volunteered their time to make sure that they were ready for the school year to start on time.”

He said keeping the doors open relies heavily on parents being honest about COVID-19 in their students and families. If a student does test positive, the Mobile County Health Department will conduct contact tracing.

Dr. Milner said, “If we have to shut down, our students will be able to switch pretty seamlessly to an online platform.”

Parents who’ve already opted for their student to do online learning and want to switch to face to face must have the principal’s approval. Students from kindergarten to eighth grade cannot switch until the second quarter. High school students cannot switch until the second semester.

For a full breakdown of the rules CLICK HERE. For a letter from Saraland’s Superintendent CLICK HERE. To see the student handbook CLICK HERE.

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