Letter From Baldwin County Schools Superintendent about Summer Programs

Parents,

I hope you had a wonderful break and are ready to see your kids get back to school. Today, we have teachers all over the county in professional development working digitally to get your kids on track to completing our core requirements for this year.

I need to clarify some information I sent to you last week about the cancelation of summer programs.

We have many different types of summer programs in our school system. It is correct to say that as of now, all school affiliated summer programs have either been canceled or are on-hold. Let me provide you further information by addressing these in three different groups.

Our summer activities run through our After-School Program. Both grant and non-grant programs are canceled. These programs run summer-long and they are partnerships with other organizations. There are great concerns about where to hold these camps, whether or not we will be able to provide the appropriate distancing and health checks as well as our ability to staff up for the entire summer in light of current circumstances.

We know this will be a great challenge to many families, but it is also why we wanted to get this information out as soon as possible so that you could begin to look for alternate options. Please continue to monitor our social media pages where we will be sharing information about other summer camps going on in our area. If you have information about a summer camp that you would like to share with other parents, please email that information to [email protected] or share it to the district Facebook page at facebook.com/BCBEAlabama. The information you share with us will be shared system-wide.

Athletic programs are the next group. All athletic programs for the summer have been canceled until further notice. This is subject to change and I am sure there will be some changes as we get a little more clarification and direction at the state level. As you know, our athletic programs are regulated programs. The Alabama High School Athletic Association along with the State Department of Education and, in some instances, national organizations control what we can and cannot do.

Until we are given specific direction on how to proceed forward, we are taking the position that summer athletic activities will be canceled. A better word might be delayed or postponed but I don’t want to give any false sense of hope or expectations because truthfully, we do not know.

This is not only affecting Baldwin County but the entire state. It is also affecting private schools and collegiate programs, as well as professional sports. I hope to be able to provide you better news. It is my hope our fall sporting programs will continue as planned but until we have more details about the summer, everyone should expect there will be significant changes, if not full cancelation.

The third group is school-sponsored programs. This could include band, cheerleading or other non-athletic but school-related events and activities. It does not matter if the event was scheduled to take place on our campus or at another location. The cancelation of all of these events applies to anything that was paid through a school organization or anything which was scheduled to take place on a school campus. All of those events at this time are canceled.

Again, we are hopeful we can revise this decision to maybe a postponement or a delay. Many of these events are not organized by us. Some of them are regional or national events that we participate in and a cancelation of those events is outside of our control.

I want to be clear, I am not happy about these decisions. I wish with all of my heart that things were different and we were back to our regularly scheduled programming. I promise you, if we are given the opportunity to put these athletic and school-sponsored programs back on track we will do so quickly and communicate that information to you. The only exception is our After-School Program activities which will not be rescheduled at any time this summer.

If you have questions about a school-sponsored or athletic event please reach out to the sponsor of that event or your principal for additional information.

After speaking with the state superintendent last week, as well as other regional leaders, it is my hope to provide you another update on this matter before Memorial Day weekend. I hope that I have better news to report to you then.

Please stay well, continue to respect the orders from our health officials about social distancing and sheltering at home. None of us want to see this virus pop back up if we are successful in avoiding the crisis as many have suggested.

I will be back in touch later this week with some updates about our first week back to school.

Eddie Tyler,
Superintendent

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