WDHN Exclusive: Dr. Eric Mackey talks schools reopening and school sports


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — As Alabama education leaders decide how to reopen schools in about a month, they are also working to keep children safe.

Recently, State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey released his roadmap for how the state should handle the reopening of schools. The plan was made to provide a foundation for school districts to build on.

“The spread looks different in different parts of the state,” Mackey said. “And different families have particular needs and values and medical conditions too so what we wanted to do was build something that locals could then build off of.”

As Wiregrass school systems use that roadmap to come up with their own reopening plans, Mackey’s team remains in communication with local school officials.

“We’ve had a webinar once for local school districts that’s focused really on principals, curriculum directors,” Mackey said. “We have three more of those coming up in the next two weeks where we will continue to work with folks to make sure that they are able to have the information they need as they build their local plans and put those plans in action, on the ground for parents in the few weeks.”

A big topic related to schools reopening is sports. According to Mackey, the department has received several question about what athletics will look like this upcoming school year.

“Football is a big one and we are getting a lot of questions about it,” Mackey said. “Obviously there are other sports like volleyball that will also be dealing with this this fall and into basketball season about four months from now. We are looking at football. It is possible that football games will look different, at least for fans. We are also looking at what other states are doing. Tennessee is delaying the start of football season. Other states around us in the southeast are looking at those delays. We continue to work on a regular basis at least every couple of days, having conversations with the Alabama High School Athletic Association about what it will look like here in Alabama this fall.”

To see Dr. Mackey’s full interview, watch the video above.

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