Hoover City Schools moving K-5 in-person students to 4 days per week

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – Hoover City Schools made the announcement on Tuesday, Sept. 15, that all students who chose the in-person learning option for grades kindergarten through fifth will now attend school four days per week.

Students have been attending on a staggered schedule to start the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19, which allowed students to come in two days per week depending on their last name.

Now, all students in those grades will attend in-person four days per week starting on Monday, Sept. 21. That puts them in the classroom for face-to-face instruction Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with Wednesday still used as a cleaning day for the school.

“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.”

As for middle and high schoolers, the school system is sticking to its original plan of a staggered schedule for now.

The decision comes on the heels of several parents voicing their displeasure that other school systems around the area had gone back to in-person learning every day of the week for all grade levels.

HCS said they made the decision to send elementary students back for several reasons.

“Younger children are less likely to contract and transmit COVID-19, elementary students do not change classes making it easier to cohort or keep them separated, other school districts in our area successfully opened their school year with elementary students attending five days per week without major incidents and the Jefferson County health Officer affirmed bringing elementary children back to school for additional days is a reasonable next step for us,” the statement said.

The school system said they will continue to update and communicate with parents on any changes regarding the next step to returning to school, and they will also keep a close eye on the latest trend of COVID-19.