Effingham Co. School District releases guidelines for return to class

Effingham Co. School District releases guidelines for return to class

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The Effingham County School District released a few general guidelines for the return to in-person schooling option for the 2020-21 school year.

ECSD has listed a virtual and in-person option for the new school year. With the pandemic still very present, they're switching gears offering students more options when it comes to how they get their education.

“I think our ultimate goal is to get kids back in the classroom in front of teachers,” Effingham County Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford said. “We also understand that we’re still under a pandemic and it’s important for us to listen to our community members.”

One option utilizes Google Classroom to allow students to learn virtually from home. The second will bring students back into the classroom.

Both options created by a group of nearly 50 teachers and administrators.

“I brought those folks to the table to help develop these plans. It’s not something that just a few people sat behind closed doors and came up with this plan,” Ford said.

While many crave a return to the classroom, the virtual learning option has proven popular already.

“As of yesterday, we were around the 700 mark,” Ford said.

In just five days, 700 students have registered.

But one thing to keep in mind, if a student does sign up for online classes for elementary, it's a nine-week commitment and for middle and high school students it's an entire semester.

Meanwhile for students returning to in-person schooling, expect some changes.

“Parents want to make sure their kids are safe, and we do as well,” Ford said.

Including regular temperature checks, designed flow plans to and from classrooms, new desk arrangements and minimal group work.

A list of procedures and topics has been published on the school district’s website.

As for masks?

“We’re not going to require masks of students. We’re just going to encourage it,” Ford said.

Although this is the plan going forward to start the year, Ford said, as with the pandemic, they are ever evolving.

“That plan is a fluid process. I don’t think it’s something we can just put together and close the notebook and open up school,” Ford said.

Registration for virtual learning is still open until July 15 and Ford said, at this time, they do not have a limit on how many students can enroll into that.

As for teachers, Ford said right now 98 percent have said they plan on returning for the coming year.

The scheduled first day of classes in Effingham County is Aug. 5.

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