From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — Trussville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill said the school system is waiting for two of three things before making any changes to plans for the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year.
On Monday, July 27, Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson issued recommendations for local schools as they prepare to welcome students next month.
Wilson urged schools to “strongly consider virtual instruction only (no in-person instruction) for middle and high school students throughout the first grading period (typically 9 weeks), except for those with special needs that warrant in-person instruction.”
Neill learned about the recommendations last Thursday and said the document containing information from Wilson was one of three things the system was waiting on before making any changes to the current plan.
The next thing Neill will be looking for is the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Toolkit for schools. Within the toolkit, the superintendent hopes to get guidance from ADPH by Tuesday afternoon.
The third element Neill is waiting on is the latest health order from Gov. Kay Ivey. Ivey’s current Safer at Home Order expires at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31. An announcement of an extended order is expected in the coming days.
“We need those three documents to be sure we have our bases covered before we adjust our plans,” said Neill.
Once the information is obtained, Neill will meet with the leadership team at TCS. The team will then make recommendations for changes, if needed.
“I’ll need to figure out exactly what adjustments might need to be made according to the new health orders,” Neill explained.
After recommendations are made, Neill said the changes will be presented to the Board of Education and will be swiftly relayed to parents within the school system.
“The most important thing will be working within those health orders and communicating any changes to the parents,” added Neill.
Neill said leadership with TCS will work fast if any changes have to be made. She said their main focus will be the safety of everyone in Trussville City Schools.
“Our top priority is the safety of our students and our teachers and we will rely on the medical experts to guide us,” Neill said.