With high positive rates for COVID-19, schools in Walton County adjust return to classroom plans

Loganville Christian Academy had already made the proactive decision for the first week back after the Christmas break be digital for its students.

“This will allow time for families to ensure that students are healthy, hopefully leading to smooth start for on campus learning on January 11. All families will still have the option to choose between on campus and distance learning for second semester,” parents were informed prior to the beginning of the Christmas break.

Now, with positive rates for COVID-19 in Walton County going above 30 %, other school systems in the county are choosing to do the same. Monroe Country Day School sent out a letter to parents last week advising that it would be doing the same thing.

“My highest priority is the safety and health of our students and staff. This has been an extremely hard decision to make. I have consulted with our COVID team, medical personnel, staff and parents. We have decided to prolong in-person instruction until January 11th,” Dr. Rita Dickinson, founder and director of MCDS said in an email to parents last week.

Social Circle City Schools Superintendent Dr. Robbie Hooker announced Sunday that SCCS also would begin classes this first week with digital learning.

“Over the holiday break, we continually monitored the effects of COVID-19 on our schools and local community in order to provide safe learning environments for all students and staff. We evaluated the Georgia Department of Public Health data for Walton and surrounding counties. We carefully considered the availability of sufficient staff members to operate our schools safely. At this point, we are not confident that we have sufficient available staff members to operate our schools safely. Therefore, we will offer additional remote learning days for all students Wednesday, January 6th, – Friday, January 8th,” Hooker said in his notification to parents and students.

Dickinson noted that the extra days at home would give 10 days after possible New Years activity and family holiday visits and would allow time for self-quarantine for families who may be sick.

At the time of going to press on Sunday evening, Walton County School District had not advised any changes to returning to regular classes on Jan. 6, but have said they will continue to monitor the numbers and advise if anything changes.

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