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1 week from new school year, Madison County parents disagree whether it's safe to return

1 week from new school year, Madison County parents disagree whether it's safe to return
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Posing for senior pictures Monday gave Briana Branks and Heaven Borowski a rare image of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, They are one week away from beginning their last year at Madison High.

"Definitely don't take your high school time for granted," Borowski said. "I'm excited to graduate."

"Yeah," Branks said. "I'm excited to get done, go to college."

Next Monday, county schools will open under Plan B to give students a chance to meet their teachers in person and to receive devices they'll need for online lessons. But starting Aug. 24, the district will go to remote learning with Sept. 14 as a target date for a return to face-to-face instruction.

Superintendent Dr. Will Hoffman believes that's the safest option, given the 50 percent surge in county COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION CENTER: TRACK THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS, IMPACTS, AND HEADLINES ABOUT THE PANDEMIC HERE

Football coach Jamie Extine agreed the numbers are troubling.

"It's concerning, as far as the data goes. You always want to keep the kids safe," Extine said.

Parents like Misha Holt are anxious for schools to reopen.

"We're ready for them to get back to school and learn," she said. "I'm not really that concerned that much."

INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES PROMPTS CHANGE OF PLANS FOR MADISON COUNTY SCHOOLS

Another mom, Sharon Ball, has mixed feelings about her son with cerebral palsy going back. She hopes the district eventually chooses Plan C, which would include 100 percent remote learning.

"It just seems like we're taking too big of a risk to let these guys go back at the present time," Ball said. "Especially these guys, because if they get sick, they can't fight it off. "

Despite the unknowns going into the school year ahead, the seniors News 13 spoke to are excited to finish what they started -- no matter how bumpy the ride.

"There's a lot of ups and downs, but there's something good that comes out of it," Borowski said, holding up a sign that says "I'm done."

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