Liberty County parents weigh the options as select students return to school

Liberty County parents weigh the options as select students return to school

LIBERTY CO., Ga. (WTOC) -Liberty County school officials say they’ve worked hard to come up with a safe way to bring students back into the schools. Select grades will have the opportunity to go for in-person learning beginning Monday. Some students will be walking through hallways for the first time since March.

For more than a month students in the Liberty County school system have taken a seat, opened up their laptops, and began their school work.

“We know for a fact that some of our children need to be back," said Superintendent Franklin Perry. "We really want all of them back.”

Superintendent Perry says about 41% of students will still be virtual while 59% will be in the classroom. Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 12 grades will resume in-person classes. The remaining grades will start the following week on September 28. Parents, however, still have the choice to continue with virtual learning. Patrick Underwood says his kids will still be doing online for the rest of the nine weeks.

“Really it’s not about the school system," Underwood said. "It’s about the other parents sending their kids to school with coronavirus.”

Underwood says his 9th-grade daughter would be eligible to go to school, but he’d rather wait until January to make a call.

“We’re going to wait the nine weeks out and see what happens," he says. "We’re going to see if, hopefully, God bless no one gets corona in school but if they do, how Liberty County school system is going to handle it.”

Cassie Boutwell says all three of her kids will be going into the classroom on Monday

“I feel like if I can go take them to see family members and go to the beach and to the water park I felt like they could still be able to go to school and get the learning that they need,” she said.

Boutwell says she’s heard about the changes the district has made so she’s comfortable with her children’s safety and has done her best to prepare them.

“I’ve tried to get it in their head that you can’t switch masks, you know, you can’t be in peoples' faces," she says. "I’ve tried to teach them the distancing thing as best as I could.”

School officials say masks will be required and all the necessary cleaning measures will take place every day.

“We’ll be able to really, really social distance," Perry insists. "We’re sanitizing. Our custodians will come in every day after school and clean all of our schools.”

At the end of the day, both parents say they are glad they have the opportunity to make the decision best fit for their families.

“If parents decide that their children go back to school tomorrow it doesn’t mean they’re a bad parent," Underwood said. "Everybody just do what’s best for their kids.”

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