HCS Superintendent: Pandemic could affect proms, graduation ceremonies

FROM STAFF REPORTS

HOOVER – Hoover City Schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy addressed topics including online instruction, proms and graduation ceremonies in a recent letter to the community.

Murphy said many parents have reached out with questions about these topics and others in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found online at HooverCitySchools.net by clicking on “Coronavirus Updates” and then “School Health FAQs.”

“I hope our decisions indicate your input is valued,” Murphy wrote in the letter. “While you may not have received an email response from me, I have scanned most emails and appreciate the voice brought to this unprecedented time in our lives. Every decision made has been based on the information current at the time of the decision and with the goal of protecting our children, personnel and families.

“I know many questions continue to surface as we walk this journey in real-time together. Our principals, central office staff, directors and coordinators spent over three hours [March 16] preparing responses to frequently asked questions regarding school closure and COVID-19…This is not an exhaustive list, and we will continue to add questions as they arise, and we will give the best responses, again, with the information current at the time. Answers are subject to change as we follow the directives and guidance of the Alabama State Department of Education, Alabama Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other public health entities.”

Murphy wrote that she especially wanted to draw attention to these topics:

  • While some schools will allow limited access for parents to pick up items, parents and students are asked to not visit the schools if the items are non-essential. Schools will be closed to the public with minimum staff effective Wednesday, March 18.
  • Online learning will not be used at this time. If school closures continue beyond April 6, HCS is likely to move to an online and traditionally supported method of instruction.
  • All school-sponsored activities, including field trips, are suspended for the remainder of the year. AHSAA sports are suspended until April 30 at the earliest but more likely suspended for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Proms are under review. On its current trajectory, COVID-19 is likely to impact graduation ceremonies. Officials will advise as soon as possible regarding prom and graduation ceremonies.

“Certainly, the impact on the health of people saddens me, and, likewise, I am saddened by the lost opportunities for our children including academic, athletic and extracurricular,” Murphy wrote. “We will get through this. We will be better and stronger on the other side of this as we are a resilient people. I am praying for your health and wellness.”