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Schools take two-week COVID pause

This just in from superintendent Dr. Jute Wilson: Friday, August 20, 2021 Good afternoon, Trojan Nation, We want to provide important COVID information and discuss changes for the weeks ahead. As you may know, we are seeing a spike in new COVID cases. A Department of Public Health (DPH) report Wednesday indicates Lamar County is currently experiencing the 4th highest rate of new COVID cases in the state of GA over the last 14-day period (159 counties). Between positive cases and quarantines, we are unable to cover our school bus routes, our kitchen staff is incomplete, and we cannot properly supervise all classrooms. Our food supply has also been impacted. We currently have 36 staff members out (district-wide) and our daily student absences are exceeding 600. We have fought, and will continue to fight to keep our schools open. Our children are behind academically, and every measurable indicator we have supports the importance of providing face-to-face instruction. However, it has become almost impossible for us to ensure all students can get to school and home each day, while providing quality instruction in a healthy environment. Beginning this Monday, August 23rd, the Lamar County School System will impose a 2 week ‘Pause’ for all students. Classes will resume Tuesday, September 7th, with a 4-day school week (like we had last year). We will offer parents a temporary virtual option on the 4-day schedule through Fall Break, October 8th. We will reassess and determine plans going forward as we monitor COVID rates. This pause will cover 10 scheduled school days, but will give us a 17-day break to attend to positive cases, quarantines, and to prepare for the remainder of the school year. All 12-month staff and School Nutrition Staff will report this Monday. All other staff will report Monday, August 30th. We will spend these two weeks preparing for the virtual option, deep cleaning and sanitizing our buildings and buses, and allowing our students and staff to focus on their health. More details will be provided next week on our virtual offering. No new school assignments will be issued to students during these next two weeks. Students may work on missed assignments or makeup work as needed. All extracurricular events will continue as scheduled. Anyone in need of food assistance may contact Mrs. St. Michael at 770-358-5891 next Wednesday, August 25th for a Friday pickup. We are praying for safety and good health for our community as we work together to get through these challenging times. ALL SPORTS AND OTHER EXTRACURRICULAR EVENTS WILL GO ON AS SCHEDULED

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