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Effingham Co. schools ready to ‘return to normal’

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - “It’s been a great summer for us to recharge and plan and get ready for the opening of the school year,” Effingham County School District Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford said.

After a long challenging year, Dr. Ford is looking forward to a hopefully ordinary school year.

“You know, our plans are to open as normal,” he said. Meaning, aside from special exceptions, “We’re only offering a face-to-face school so, no virtual at this time,” Dr. Ford said.

And just as they finished the last school year, masks will once again be optional for students and staff. But that does not mean they aren’t being cautious.

“We’re not that far out of COVID, so I still think it’s very important that we continue to keep our guard,” he said.

That means some of their COVID related changes from last year will be staying. Like bringing special cleaning crews. keeping hand sanitizer stations available, and doing their best to follow CDC guidelines.

“As practically as possible we are going to do our very best to set our classrooms up so desks are three feet apart,” Dr. Ford said.

But perhaps the biggest takeaway for Dr. Ford during the pandemic school year is, “You know the first thing I’d say is that teachers are the most resilient people on Earth,” he said.

Teachers and faculty Dr. Ford says the district is lucky to have and even luckier to be keeping most of them.

“Our turnover rate has been similar this year as it has been to years past,” Dr. Ford said.

Holding onto staff and a mentality Dr. Ford believes guided them through the pandemic.

“You heard me say it last year we took it day by day week by week. We’re going to do the same thing,” he said.

With the goal of having a safe, healthy and fun new year.

“I hope all of you out there are just as excited as I am to get school started back,” Dr. Ford said.

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