Cullman County Schools going remote Jan. 6-15, limiting sports spectators Dec. 15-Jan. 15

Changes due to increased number of COVID-19 cases in the area

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Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County is seeing an increased number of COVID-19 cases. As of Dec. 14, Cullman County continues to be in the “Very High” risk category as determined by the Alabama Department of Public Health. With the two-week holiday break approaching, there is concern of continued and increasing community spread. Due to this, the system anticipates a surge of cases if school resumes in a traditional environment. Therefore, to help protect students, faculty and staff, Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette is announcing the following changes:

REMOTE LEARNING

All Cullman County School students will transition to remote learning beginning Jan. 6 and will continue through Jan. 15. Cullman County Schools employees will work on campus during this time.

HYBRID LEARNING

Hybrid learning will resume Jan. 19 and will remain in effect until at least Jan. 29. This model, including affected grade levels and schools, will be identical to what is currently in place across the school system.

ATHLETIC EVENTS

Effective Tuesday, Dec. 15 and continuing through at least Friday, Jan. 15 all sporting events played in Cullman County School facilities will be limited to two spectators per participant. Season ticket holders will be eligible for prorated refunds if unable to attend due to the new restrictions. Attending spectators must wear a mask and must maintain social distancing during the duration of the game.

During the period of remote learning (Jan. 6-15), the only allowed games are those designated as varsity area games that must be played for seeding. The above restrictions will continue to be in place during this period.

Barnette said he wanted to announce these instructional changes now, to give educators and parents as much time as possible to prepare for remote instruction. He also understands the importance of athletics for a student athlete, that athlete’s family and the community. He said he hopes these changes will help to preserve the season while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

“The safety of our students and employees is always my top priority while we balance the importance of high-quality instruction and the social and emotional well-being of our students,” said Barnette.

Further updates will be provided via local school administration, social media, www.ccboe.org and through School Messenger.