Today at 10:00 a.m. the STATE Board of Education will meet in Atlanta. One of the topics that will be considered is a resolution pushing back the start of school until September 8. IF this occurs, it will greatly affect our back to school plans.
The information we receive is constantly being updated and changed. In an effort to keep Superintendents/School Districts informed, scheduled conference calls occur a minimum of once a week (and have since March when there were at least 3 calls a week), with instructions and updates.
Governor Kemp, Dr. Kathleen Toomey (Commissioner of the Department of Public Health), and Dr. Gary Voccio, (Health Director for the 10-County Department of Public Health in Northwest, Ga.), have been the primary experts overseeing the pandemic and providing guidance and direction.
Dr. Richard Woods, State School Superintendent has also been working closely with these same individuals, as well as the CDC. In conjunction they have developed guidance for all Georgia school districts called, “Georgia’s Path to Recovery for K-12 Schools. These are thorough guidelines that dictate to every school system in the state. The guidelines are comprehensive, specific, and every decision made is taking the health and safety of students and staff into consideration.
I purposefully wanted to wait until next Wednesday to present our re-opening plan, but I have decided to go ahead, once the State Board meets, and finalize our plan depending upon their action. I will release the plan prior to Monday, and I will extend the on-line distance learning registration deadline to Wednesday, July 29th. This should give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
I want everyone to know that we do not take this situation lightly, and we are not the ones making determinations as to when we can and cannot be in school. I do monitor and study the data in our area many times on a daily basis. Additionally, there are protocols in place which we must follow to ensure any situation that arises will be handled effectively and efficiently with guidance from the Department of Public Health. The President, The Governor, the U.S. Pediatric Society, as well as the data all indicate it is safe to return to school in our area. We will wait to see if the State delays our start, and there is a good possibility we could have our school year interrupted off and on throughout the school year, but we will do whatever it takes to keep our students and staff safe, and help put an end to this pandemic. If you have questions feel free to contact me. Stay well.
Melody Day, Superintendent