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A Way Forward - Wednesday July 15, 2020

Dear ASMS community members,

I am pleased to share with you the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science’s plan to welcome our students back to campus and operate during the 2020-2021 school year in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic. To do this, every member of our campus community must do their part. We have a challenging year ahead. Opening school in August will require community members to embrace change, cooperation, and flexibility. This is a time to unify and collaborate as a community. We’re all in this together.

Our best leaders and experts have been working together for months to develop a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of every member of our campus community. We continue to closely monitor public health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and we’re consulting with state officials. Although it is as comprehensive of a plan as possible to date, it remains a work-in progress. It will continue to be updated as additional campus protocols are finalized, the pandemic unfolds, and updated public health recommendations become available. We remain focused on preserving the on-campus experience, but COVID-19 has forced us to rethink everything we do.

As you will see, our plans are intended to limit exposure to COVID-19, decrease the spread of transmission, and encourage healthy practices for everyone on campus. Because there is no COVID-19 vaccine, every on-campus scenario involves a level of risk and a requirement for each individual to adhere to expectations to eliminate as much risk as possible. Living, learning, and working together this fall will require more respect and responsibility from each of us. Although we will make every attempt to adhere to safety protocols, our plan considers scenarios in which the virus is present on campus and could lead to temporary or ongoing campus closures and transitions to remote instruction.

My request to students and families is straightforward: Please understand that these plans could change instantly. Throughout the pandemic, we have learned that each day brings new data and information that influences decision making at every level. We recognize there are questions that we are not able to answer yet. As information and decisions are refined and finalized, we will continue to share those with our community. Challenges remain ahead, but I am confident that we will continue to work together to ensure continuity of learning and student growth. Please carefully review the plan. Once you have done so, students and families are required to sign the agreement of understanding and commitment to adhering to the school’s policies and procedures, which will be implemented as a result of the plan. You can review the plan here and sign the agreement here. If you have questions or feedback, please email

Thank you, and we look forward to a safe and successful school year next year!


John Hoyle, Ph.D.


  • Jul 15, 2020