Schools go virtual after rise in COVID cases after holiday break

Lee Co. Schools fighting to keep school in session

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -COVID-19 cases continue to climb across South Georgia. The increasing threat is prompting school districts to make changes.

A few are going virtual...or canceling class altogether.

Recently, Lee County School District joined the growing list of schools opting to make changes to their spring semester.

They’re holding classes virtually to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The assistant superintendent says the impact it’s having on students’ motivation is evident.

“They are kind of all over the place a little bit. You have some that do very well, they are highly motivated, do well in assessment. And then you see some that struggle a bit and need extra support,” said Kevin Dowling, the assistant superintendent for Lee County School District.

He says COVID-19 cases in the district are mostly among high schoolers and those cases mean more changes for students.

“We are trying to have school. We are fighting very hard to have school. Whether that is remote, which is not ideal, at least we are able to do something, or whether it is in-person, which is what we want,” said Dowling.

Lee County School District is working to provide support for students and ensure they’re on track to succeed.

Increasing coronavirus cases are not a one-district problem.

Dougherty County School Superintendent Kenneth Dyer says for them, the current data did not support a return to in-person instruction either.

In a statement, he told parents. after the holiday break, they hoped to see the positive rate in cases stabilized but that has not been the case.

Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning also works with districts to lessen the burden for parents and teachers.

They offer childcare options for school-age students to help parents who need to return to work.

“It’s been well received. We’ve definitely had child care providers who are glad to participate and happy to serve these families, and lots of families who need this service are taking advantage of it. It’s been great so far,” said Elisabetta Kasfir, Deputy Commissioner for the CAPS Program.

Dougherty County schools plan to continue virtual learning until the end of the month.

Lee County students are expected to return on January 19.

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