Spring Break starts tomorrow and we are supposed to see good weather for our Good Friday! When we return from break, we will have only six weeks left to complete what I think we can all agree has been a very long school year! I would also like to say I think it has been a very successful school year considering all the circumstances and lack of attendance for so many school systems around the country. Thank you for your partnership in getting this done!

I want to provide you with some information which will be important when we return to school after the break. 

When we come back from spring break, masks will no longer be required in Baldwin County Public Schools. We will be following Governor Ivy's directives to accept more personal responsibility over government mandates. While we will not be requiring masks, masks will certainly be allowed to be worn by students and employees who choose to do so.

Let me speak for a minute about how effective the masks have been. We have seen no reported outbreaks of flu in our schools this year. We have seen no reported outbreaks of stomach viruses in our schools this year. The behavior of our students has been outstanding as reported from elementary through high school. While inconvenient at times, masks became a part of our daily lives.

While we are discontinuing the mask requirement, we will remain vigilant in our efforts otherwise. We will continue our in-depth sanitization procedures. We will continue to socially distance when possible. We will continue to use and encourage the use of hand sanitizers. Our campuses will remain locked down to outside visitors including parents, except for specific outdoor ceremonies. We will continue to prohibit large events indoors.

We are looking forward to a full-scale, regularly scheduled graduation this year at our outdoor facilities as usual. Just as we did last year, we will be live streaming our graduations for those who are not comfortable being in attendance or those who are not able to make the trip. Please look for your school principals to provide additional information about the live stream for graduation. We just had prom at our high schools. I have heard no reports of any significant problems! Award ceremonies and concerts will be allowed to resume in an outdoor fashion through the end of the school year for all grade levels.

We are awaiting word from the state athletic association following the governor's orders but we expect the state athletic association will allow our regularly scheduled and attended athletic events to continue through the remainder of the school year, without limitations. Please stay tuned to your local school’s athletic director or principal for additional information.

If you have been watching our COVID-19 numbers, we have had single-digit reports countywide for several weeks. This month our teachers and employees completed their second round of vaccinations. Just a few weeks ago, we allowed the removal of masks during PE and outdoor activities and the reports back have been very positive. I do not know what the future will bring but I do know that whatever we have been through over the last year seems to have calmed down for now. The experts tell me the vaccinations are doing what they are supposed to do and of course, the governor's advisers have directed her that this next step appears to be a logical progression so we will be following her orders.

I would like to take a moment to recognize the teachers of the year in Baldwin County. Each school selects a teacher of the year from their local staff. These people have a very special place in my heart because of everything we have suffered through this year. Those teachers who were selected by their peers should be very proud of this honor having been awarded such a title in this very unusual and difficult school year. 

From those local teachers who were nominated, an elementary and secondary teacher is chosen by a panel of judges to represent the school system as Baldwin County Public Schools’ “Teachers of the Year”. I would like to pay special tribute to these two wonderful teachers, Mrs. Lisa Hood and Mrs. Katherine Robinson. Thank you so very much for your service and congratulations to all of our teachers of the year from all of our schools across Baldwin County. 

I hope you enjoy your spring break with your children. I am prayerful we will return to school and complete the last six weeks without any disruption and end this year on a high note. 

On behalf of the 4,000 employees in the Baldwin County Public School System, thank you for entrusting us with your children.

Eddie Tyler,
#BaldwinProud #CommunityStrong