Governor Kay Ivey’s mask mandate ends today. Local school districts now have the choice on whether to make face coverings mandatory. Other guidelines have also been relaxed. The CDC has moved its social distancing guidelines from six feet to three feet in the classroom. More students will attend in-person instruction in closer proximity as a result. Michael Sibley is the Director of Communications at the Alabama Department of Education. He said school district mask wearing policies will probably reflect the views of their community.
“Every school system has the authority to make the determination for themselves as to what they will and won’t do. We just provide guidance. Some are going to extend mask wearing beyond what the governor has said is mandated, some will be a lot more lenient. That depends largely on the population of their school, school system.”
School districts face COVID-related challenges beyond safety. Educators are focused on closing the gap in instruction caused by online learning. Sibley said summer programs are a great way to achieve this.
“We’re really, really looking at this summer. Alabama has been one of the top states in the nation in terms of participation for our summer learning programs, and we’re hoping that this year, because of the impact of COVID, we will have an unprecedented turnout.”
The school year for most Alabama students ends in late May or June. Parents should check with their local school districts for COVID regulations.