Wayne Co. schools preparing for first day of class

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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WAYNE COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The first day of school is right around the corner for Georgia students.

Wayne County students go back to the classrooms on Aug. 9.

“Our students and our faculty members are anxious to get back to normalcy, so we’re going to try to make that happen for them,” Director of Tech and Accountability Reggie Burgess said.

Wayne County School System is excited to welcome back all its students for in-person learning, after about 15-percent of them did virtual school last year.

“There will be some exceptions made for students who have verifiable medical conditions that preclude them from coming to school, but for those students, the parents will have to provide some documentation,” Burgess said.

Masks are not required but encouraged. If anyone tests positive for COVID-19, the district says they are required to quarantine.

For those in close contact with a positive case, the response will depend on their vaccination status.

“If they can show proof, documentation that they have been fully vaccinated, they would not have to go into quarantine.”

District leaders say they want this school year to look like school years before the pandemic hit.

For one elementary school teacher. she says she’s never been more excited for the first day of school.

“Just having the interaction with the families, being able to see them, have them come to the classroom, see my classroom, field trips, all these things that these kids have missed out on - really looking forward to it,” first grade teacher Leslie Greenlee said.

Greenlee says she is prepared for students with learning loss due to virtual learning, and also the summer break.

“Maybe some. I don’t think as much as we did this year.”

And the district is ready to catch these students up in academics.

“We do have some tutors that we’ve hired that are going to be going into the classroom, pulling kids out and some will be in inclusion.”

Teachers are also focusing on social-emotional learning for their students, saying some might have lost those skills while home.

“Let them talk, let them talk through it, help them out in any way that you can.”

Both district leaders and staff say the last school year was tough, but there was a silver lining, something they hope continues, even if things may feel like they’re back to normal.

“When times get tough, we’re a lot more resilient than we think we are.”

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