The superintendent of schools of the city of Athens on the abolition of the mask requirement for the school year 2021-2022

ATHENS, Ala. – Some school systems in the Tennessee Valley have started publishing their plans for the summer and even the following school year regarding COVID-19 precautions; including the schools of the city of Athens.

The district will not need masks when students return to school this summer or next fall.

They will also end the distance learning option this fall.

“It seemed like every day brought something new,” said Superintendent Beth Patton. “We had students going from traditional to distant to traditional and everyday teachers were trying to go back and forth in these different worlds.”

Superintendent Patton said parents who are not ready for a return to traditional learning can apply to the Athens Renaissance School, “which is designed for our mixed virtual students, so that option exists. already for families who want it and that’s how we want it to be, “she added.

Patton said virtual learning is not for everyone and that at the end of this school year the number of students in virtual learning reflected a desire to return to the classroom.

“We have very few elementary school students, kindergarten to grade 6 anyway, still in distance learning. Probably a little over 100 at the college level, a little over 200 at the high school level, so people are ready to go back to school, ”Patton said.

She said they will be monitoring COVID-19 cases closely and are ready to change plans as needed, but from now on they are ready to return to pre-pandemic normal.

“We’re ready for hands-on learning, we’re ready for out-of-school experiences, we’re ready to get our families back into our schools, we’re so excited,” Patton said.

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