HUNTSVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Over in Madison County, the Huntsville School District announced it will reopen schools on August 26th.
Staff is working to create a safe environment as close to traditional as possible but if learning transitions back into the homes, they’ll be ready.
Now, there are classes in session, but for the teachers in the district, learning how to better use the tools and technologies they need to teach on-site, virtually or blended format.
“The new normal is going to include a lot of technology and that is what these workshops are about,” said Chandra Denison a teacher.
“We are doing training of google classroom, how to do assessments and forms on that, how to teach with interactive lessons,” said Director of Technology, Bailey Cotton.
Huntsville and St. Paul school teachers taking professional development classes over the summer. Denison is a math teacher at the high school but this week she is teaching her peers.
“Getting teachers to feel confident in a low-stress way to record their lessons for the children who are at home.”
Superintendent Audra Kimball said the majority of students will be returning to on-site learning. Parents who are considering the virtual program have up to July 31 to apply.
“We are asking parents to screen their kids before sending them to school and all of the staff have a checklist and daily log that they will do,” said Kimball.
Students must wear a mask at school and on school buses. Teachers and staff will be given a plastic face shield.
“I can breathe better, now it’s open at the bottom so I know when I go around to the kids I’ll have to put a mask on under,” said Denison.
When it comes to social distancing, Denison said desks have been spread out in the classrooms to give students space although she is sure some will need to be reminded.
Students normally gravitate towards each other and they have been away from each other for so long. It’s going to be hard for them to stay away from each other especially at first.”
If the schools have to close they have a digital learning plan in place.
“We are all in this job because we have a heart for kids and we are going to do what we can to do the best for them.”
Kimball said students will still also have access to extra classes like art and music, after school activities and sports.
The schools will follow the guidelines set by the CDC and the health department.
Click here for the reopening plan.