Savannah-Chatham students return to class with COVID-19 safety protocols

Savannah-Chatham students return to class with COVID-19 safety protocols

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah-Chatham County Public School System students have officially returned to their classrooms for hybrid learning, but how they’ve returned looks a bit different for safety.

“Things are going well, the biggest issue probably right now for us is getting people in the building as quickly as possible, when it comes to take in, getting them home making sure that the right mask is getting into the right mask with the car, you know, those are the logistics that we concern ourselves with,” Jacob G. Smith Elementary Principal Vernon Cole said.

As students get back to class, leaders say they are doing their best to adjust to the times with quick COVID screenings in the morning, sanitization throughout the day, masking inside and more.

“Everyone is wearing their mask like it’s supposed to be worn,” fifth grade student Janiyah Johnson said.

Inside the school they not only have in-depth cleaning, special filters and more, but you’ll also see constant reminders of safety protocol with social distancing being top of mind.

Class sizes have decreased, especially at Johnson High School. One teacher says she feels safe thanks to her school leaders.

“Everyone has been keeping their distance so since we have returned in January honestly, I haven’t felt unsafe,” Johnson High social studies teacher Amanda Fanelli said.

Johnson has a total of about 740 students and only 170 of them elected to return to in-person learning.

While families in the district have one more day to elect for hybrid learning should they want it, Johnson’s principal says if classroom numbers remain low schools may be able to add in person learning days.

“We are looking at that here at Johnson High School, some schools can’t do it because their class sizes are so large,” Johnson High School Principal Derrick Muhammad said.

With safety as the top priority, officials, staff and students say they are grateful to be face-to-face again, even if it’s half covered with a mask.

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.