Early County Schools prepare for reopening on Aug. 6

The Early County School Board of Education has plans to bring in a Homeland Security expert to...
The Early County School Board of Education has plans to bring in a Homeland Security expert to hold trainings for students and staff. (Source: WALB)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 12:34 PM EDT
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BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) - As Early County Schools are just a week away from reopening, teachers have returned to the classroom to prepare for an unprecedented school year.

Early County Schools are offering students 3 different options on how they attend the 2020-2021 school year.

“A majority of our students are coming back face to face but we have about 500 students who are opting for the virtual learning option so about twenty-five percent of our students,” Bronwyn Ragan-Martin, superintendent of Early County School System, said.

For teachers like Ben Crowdis who returned back to the classroom this week, his main goal is providing his fourteen virtual students with the same level of learning as the traditional students.

“Balancing being able to set up between the virtual students and the students that are coming into the classroom and being able to give both of those groups students the best quality education that we can is really the biggest challenge and struggle right now,” Ben Crowdis, 6th grade science and social studies teacher at Early County Middle said.

But concerns expand outside the four walls of their classrooms.

“For me, it’s not just my kids in the classroom but also help with my grandmother at home and my dad is a diabetic. I’m about to have to be in a situation like I’m a front line nurse where I can’t just go visit with them anymore, I’m going to have to cut that off again once the kids come in the door,” Crowdis said.

With a school year unlike any other, preparation is their number one priority.

“So I think really getting them comfortable and making sure they’re up to speed for the virtual learning option, that’s their hardest challenge. Of course, some are a little nervous coming back to a classroom full of students with COVID still going on so just trying to quell that anxiety and making sure have all the safety protocols in place,” Ragan-Martin said.

Starting with how they will begin to social distance.

“We’ve shifted the lab tables around. One thing that has happened because so many kids are signed up for virtual, the class sizes have dropped so we will be able to separate more. With science they can share labs and things as much so it’ll be more individual,” Crowdis said.

According to Early County Schools superintendent, masks will be mandatory for the middle and high school students.

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