DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — August marks the month students return to the classroom. However, the coronavirus pandemic has shifted those plans.
“As far as the changing for the dates to starting school. I mean we definitely understand that with the increase numbers of COVID cases here in the Dothan area and just trying to be safe,” Parent Mark Anderson said.
A school system’s first priority is to ensure a safe environment for kids to learn. A couple of months ago, Dothan city schools sent out a survey for parents listing options they prefer for their child to continue his or her education. The options consisted of students attending school virtually or traditionally even if it’s at a later date.
“For the plan for opening as originally planned, we had 828 votes, for the delay we had 1,869, for the virtual option we 1,679, and for the half option we had 403,” Public Information Officer Meagan Dorsey said.
With the survey ending, it prompted the Dothan City School board to have a meeting to discuss the date school should start back.
“My recommendation is that you approve my request to open school after Labor Day. The official day for students will be September 8th and teachers will return August 31st,” Dr. Phyllis Edwards said.
After the recommendation was approved by the board, parents of students chimed in on the delayed start date.
“I totally believe kids should be in school and to get back in a normal routine. This will allow three or four more weeks to see if cases slowed down and we can stop the spread if that gives them a little bit extra time and also accomplish all of the goals as far as ultimately getting kids back to school then we’re in support of that
Anderson says he’s glad the school system is giving the option to attend school virtually and traditionally.