BUTLER COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Butler County public school officials are planning an aggressive move to move beyond the pandemic and begin the new school in the fall as one.
“I was very sad,” said Butler County Schools Superintendent Joe Eiland.
Eiland never wants to go through again what the school district endured over the last 12 months. It was on March 13 of last year when the wheels came off.
“I have to say it was strange,” he said.
Not just weird for him, but for the 2,900 students that make up the school system along with their teachers and support personnel.
“And then we went into the fall, same process of opening up our schools to virtually very few students,” said Eiland.
Looking at this putting the 2020-21 school year behind them, Eiland and his team have three strategic community meetings scheduled starting next week: May 11 at Georgiana School, May 13 at McKenzie High School and May 17 at Greenville Middle School.
Eiland said the reason is “to let them know how important it is that we have them with us heart, mind, body and soul.”
Butler County school leaders say they see the community meetings coming up as a chance for parents to tell them what they did well during the pandemic and areas where they could have done better, and then together find a way to move forward.
“We’re revaluating our goals and objectives based on the needs that the pandemic has left us with,” said Butler County Schools federal programs director Lisa Adair.
Part of the meetings will include information about summer programs to help students catch up. A number of them fell behind during the virtual learning period of COVID-19.
“There was a lack of consistency,” said Adair.
The pandemic left its print on the school district with a disordered school year. Eiland and Adair are eager to redirect with a fresh start come fall.
School district officials say they have a little over $1 million set aside to pay for summer programs over the next three years.