ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Kenneth Dyer, the Dougherty County School System (DCSS) superintendent, issued a letter Monday, recommending the school system delay the start of school by two weeks.
“I am making a recommendation to the Dougherty County Board of Education that we amend the district calendar to push the start of school from its original Aug. 3 start date in order to allow the curve to flatten and the trend line for COVID-19 cases in Dougherty County to reverse,” said Dyer in the letter.
He said his recommendation will be considered by the Dougherty County Board of Education during its July 29 meeting.
In his recommendation, Dyer suggests students begin with the online instructional model with rolling start dates for each school as listed below.
- High School Students: August 17
- Middle School Students: August 24
- Elementary Students (Grades PK-5): August 31
“This option will allow for device distribution and for teachers and staff to properly connect with students via online orientation. We will share information about dates and times for distribution by the end of the week,” explained Dyer in the letter.
District Spokesperson LaKisha Bruce said student safety is always the priority.
She said they’ll deliver high-quality instruction.
“We believe that delaying the school start date but putting everyone in an online instructional model is best right now due to the conditions here in Dougherty County,” Bruce said. “Our restart plan is a conditions-based plan and so it always provided opportunity for us to pivot if needed and that is what we are doing at this time.”
If there is an increased spread of the virus, the school system will move to virtual instruction only. In the virtual-only model, DCSS officials said all system policies, like attendance and grades, will be followed.