EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - This week marked the beginning of the second semester for the Effingham County School District.
With it came hundreds of more students making the switch from virtual to in-person learning.
WTOC sat down with the school’s superintendent to look back on the first semester and look ahead to how they’ll navigate having even more students in the classroom.
“You know obviously we’ve had our fair share of positive cases with students and staff members,” said ECSD Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford.
Putting an exact number on it, according to their website the Effingham County School District had 202 students and 146 staff members test positive for COVID-19 during their first semester.
That’s just under 2 percent of the student population and 8 percent of staff
All things considered, passing grades for the Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford.
“We’re thankful, very thankful that we had a successful first semester.”
Of course, coming into the second semester after a long break won’t be easy.
“We do have a concern, you know, of students and staff coming back and having an uptick and I think time will tell,” said Dr. Ford.
Especially with roughly 600 more students making the move back to in-person learning.
When you add that to the 900 who came back after the first nine weeks.
“Currently we’ve got a little over 11-thousand that are face to face,” Dr. Ford said.
Leaving about 15-hundred still on virtual.
Numbers Dr. Ford says will likely remain the same throughout the rest of the school year.
A semester they plan to continue to take one day at a time.
“Right now, our goal is to get to next Monday without having to shut down,” said Dr. Ford.
A consistent goal they’ve met week after week, Dr. Ford says, all thanks to a special group.
“I think all the credit has got to be given to those teachers and administrators and paraprofessionals and custodians and bus drivers. The list goes on and on for what I call, ‘front line workers.’”
A group he trusts will help them navigate the challenges that lie ahead, and hopefully together they can offer the senior class something they couldn’t last year.
“I would say one of the really important goals for our school district is to get to graduation for these seniors.”
A graduation they hope can be held in-person.
Dr. Ford said they don’t have the final COVID numbers for the current week quite yet but you they do update them weekly on their website.
Click here for more.