From The Tribune staff reports
HOOVER — After announcing on Sept. 1 a return to five day a week in-person school for middle and high school students, Hoover City Schools is pulling back and sticking with the 50% capacity blended schedule, Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy said this week. Full time classes were set to resume on Sept. 21.
“For those students who have chosen in-person instruction for this school year, we plan to shift to five (5) days of in-person instruction beginning Monday, September 21, 2020,” Murphy said in her statement on Sept. 1. “That said, we will continue to follow the COVID numbers and allow science to inform our decision-making.”
On Tuesday, Murphy reversed course opting to allow elementary students to return four days a week and keeping middle and high school students on the blended schedule which keeps school capacity at 50% or lower.
Starting on Monday, Sept. 21, elementary students in the Hoover school system who chose in-person instruction will start attending school four days per week. Those students will physically attend class on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be utilized for cleaning Hoover schools.
The 4-day option will only be available to elementary students. According to the Shelby County Reporter, middle and high school students who chose in-person instruction will stay with their original plan of a staggered schedule for now.
“It is important to share that we will do our best to support safe spacing between and among our elementary students who are in-person, but we will not be able to guarantee 6 feet of social distancing on the school bus or in the classroom,” read a note to parents from the school system. “It is also important to know that it is our intent to return elementary students and all HCS students to five days of instruction as soon as reasonably possible but no later than the beginning of our second 9-week grading period which begins Oct. 19.”
Hoover students began the 2020-2021 school year on a staggered schedule due to COVID-19, which allowed students to come in two days per week.