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Schools get idea of how many students will start year remotely

Though the numbers will fluctuate, perhaps for the entire school year, school system administrators are getting an idea of how many students will begin the academic year learning from home. As of Friday, 78 students at the primary school, 109 at the elementary school, 126 at the middle school and 96 at the high school had registered for remote instruction. Lamar averages about 200 students per grade level with projected total enrollments of around 600 at the elementary and middle schools and 800 at the primary and high schools. The enrollment numbers are fluid and never really level until after Labor Day. The system has experienced a large increase in the number of students living outside the county applying for out of district waivers to attend Lamar schools. This is a direct result of other area systems offering only remote learning which can be a burden on working families. LC parents have been asked to make a decision on remote or face-to-face instruction by Aug. 5 for planning purposes. School starts Aug. 12. ’We know these numbers will fluctuate from day-to-day. Our teachers are working very hard to support all students. We have stressed remote learners will need support, supervision and guidance from home. Face-to-face instruction is by far the most effective model but we understand the situation we are in and are glad to be able to provide choices for our parents,’ superintendent Dr. Jute Wilson said. The system has a limited number of devices for those who will work off-campus. They must attend training and sign a waiver of responsibility before receiving the device. ’We have asked those with a computer in the home not to request a device unless absolutely necessary. We’ve invested considerable resources into beefing up our network and our device stockpile but we cannot provide every child a device at this time,’ Wilson continued. The system is monitoring COVID-19 cases and exposures among staff, faculty and administrators. No one at the admin level has had an issue. ‘We’ve had two positive cases and a handful of exposures. We followed DPH protocols. They are all being quarantined. None had symptoms to my knowledge,’ Wilson said. The system is notifying all staff members if it quarantines anyone in a building. ‘No names, of course. We are required to report cases to DPH and provide them a daily update,’ Wilson said. The system asks those who test positive to alert anyone they may have exposed. The exposure standard is having been in within six feet of a person who tested positive for 15 minutes or more without personal protective equipment. ’We did have a few football players test positive a few weeks ago. We immediately contacted DPH and followed their guidance along with that from GHSA. Drills were halted and the facility closed for the designated time frame,’ Wilson concluded.

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