DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — School is 6 days away for Dothan City Schools, Houston County Schools, and Henry County Schools.

The three districts gathered today for a day of motivation and professional development, as they prepare for the upcoming school year.

School is right around the corner as teachers are getting their classes together, as they are hoping for a “Normal” school year.

“We feel much better than we did last year and we have a little more time with our professional days here to get ready,” Houston County Superintendent, Brandy White said. “So I think our teachers aren’t as stressed.”

“We are prepping and making sure we have everything ready,” Henry County Superintendent, Lori Beasley said. “We want to try. Our focus is to try and be as normal as possible.”

Dr. Eric Mackey, the Alabama State Superintendent spoke on Wednesday to the teachers of the three districts and says the state feels good as a whole going into the school year.

“But we are in better shape this year,” Dr. Mackey said. “Then we have been in almost a decade with filling our classrooms with high-quality teachers.”

The 2020 and the 2021 school years brought several obstacles for teachers including the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We still have the different variants floating around,” Dothan City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Dennis Coe said. “We still have to be cognizant of what’s going on health-wise. We are still monitoring symptoms and utilizing the tools that we have cleaning, the thermal cameras, so we are going to continue to move forward.”

Nationally, there was a rise in school shootings. This summer, Wiregrass school systems held active shooter drills for law enforcement so that if an event like that were to happen, they would be prepared.

“Our teachers understand that safety is one of the biggest concerns and so we have taken some measures and our teachers have bought into that,” White said.

All three superintendents agree that they are excited to kick off the school and welcome students back into the school doors.