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New faces in Long Co. ready to welcome students in-person

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 12:22 PM EDT
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LONG COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - School districts across Georgia are gearing up for a new school year.

Long County students will go back to in-person learning, after having a virtual option due to the pandemic.

This week, teachers are getting their classrooms ready for the first day of school.

“Our school year will be much more normal than what we experienced last year.”

The Long County School System is excited to welcome students back for in-person learning. There will also be more than 40 new faces in school buildings.

“We’ve hired additional teachers to reduce class sizes. We’ve also hired additional counselors to support social and emotional needs of our students. We’ve also, at the elementary level, have hired additional paraprofessionals,” Assistant Superintendent Lisa McCallister said.

As of right now, both students and staff have the option of wearing a mask.

“We will continue to closely monitor our COVID data and work with the Georgia Department of Health and our local health officials. If we determine that we need to change that plan, we will do so,” McCallister said.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, “We would require that person to isolate, per DPH guidelines, and we would perform the contact tracing,” McCallister said.

Another change to the new school year is pick-up times. With no virtual learning option, student pick-up times will go back to normal.

“Three of our four schools will dismiss at 2:35 and Long County will dismiss at 2:40,” McCallister said.

There are some things the district plans to keep in place this upcoming school year, such as extra sanitation practices and the use of Google Classroom.

“Our students seem to enjoy it. The teachers seem to enjoy it. They became much more efficient with it though use, and I think we’ll see a lot more of that,” McCallister said.

Administrators and teachers ask families to be patient and flexible, as the school year plans might change.

Right now, though, they’re just happy to get back to what feels like normal.

“If it feels like we’re on the right path for sure, and we hope to stay on that path,” McCallister said.

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