MOULTON — Students at two Lawrence County schools will start the academic year at home taking virtual classes for two weeks instead of reporting in person Wednesday morning after an individual connected to both schools tested positive for COVID-19, an official said.
Superintendent Jon Bret Smith said in-school classes were canceled for both Moulton Elementary and Moulton Middle. In-person classes are tentatively set to resume Aug. 26.
Smith said the other 12 Lawrence County campuses will begin the school year Wednesday at 7:45 a.m. or 7:50 a.m. depending on the individual school.
“We’ve been made aware of an individual yesterday who has tested positive for COVID,” Smith said this afternoon. “This individual has had close contact with people from both Moulton Elementary School and Moulton Middle School. We reached out to the Alabama Department of Public Health for guidance, and its recommendation was to postpone the opening of those schools for two weeks."
He said the school system has determined all individuals who have been in close contact with the infected individual.
“We’ve notified all of those people. There are 10 of them,” he said.
Smith said the school system is in the process of distributing Chromebooks to all of the students from both schools so classes can be conducted virtually.
Adam Campbell and his wife have two children at Moulton Elementary School.
“We both work and the last-minute notification has been something we didn’t plan for,” he said. “My kids go to day care now. Maybe they can continue to go to day care. We’ll find out in the morning. It’s something we’ll work through. I’m not upset with the school system. They’re doing what they have to do.”
He said he is not sure how his children will be able to learn via the Chromebooks.
“We don’t have reliable internet where we live,” he said. “It’s frustrating. We just didn’t plan for this and that’s my fault.”
Moulton Middle School has about 570 students in grades 5-8 with 33 teachers and 12 support workers. Moulton Elementary has 675 students and includes kindergarten through fourth grade. It has 60 staff members including certified personnel, according to its website.
The two schools are separated by a pickup zone for buses and car riders.