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Young Russellville students enjoy some playtime last week. They and all their fellow students have gone virtual this week as RCS pauses in-person schooling to assess the effect of the Labor Day holiday.

RCS goes virtual for week following Labor Day

Russellville City Schools has closed its doors Sept. 8-11 to move to virtual schooling as the district anticipates a spike in positive case following Labor Day activities.

“This decision is being made proactively and not in response to positive cases,” said RCS Superintendent Heath Grimes.

Grimes said the Alabama Department of Public Health saw an increase in cases following Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays, so the state is expecting another increase after Labor Day weekend.

Grimes said the hope is that four days of having school at home will give anyone who was exposed to the virus over Labor Day time to show symptoms and begin quarantine, reducing or even eliminating the number teachers and students coming to school after unknowingly being in contact with the virus.

“The hope is that being proactive will keep us from having to be reactive if an outbreak occurs,” Grimes said.

West Elementary School Principal Deanna Hollimon said she and her teachers were excitedly anticipating the temporary move to virtual learning.

“I see nothing but positives with this,” Hollimon said, “especially since we know about it ahead of time – this allows us the chance to be sure we are prepared.”

Hollimon said having to move to virtual learning suddenly in March showed her and her teachers the importance of being prepared at all times for such a switch. This has led to increased preparedness and a proactive approach.

Teachers and students have worked with an online learning platform since school began to prepare for a potential situation requiring schools to move to virtual learning long term.

“This will be great trial run for us to see how prepared we are for if we have to move to virtual learning,” Hollimon said. “I believe we are very prepared for this, but this will show us any areas that need improvement.”

During this week, the school will continue to serve breakfast and lunch for curbside pickup, as it did during the summer. Meals will be available at the Russellville Elementary School cafeteria entrance from 10 a.m. to noon Sept 8-11.