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Cook Co. Schools closed next week, then retuning with a hybrid learning schedule

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 7:42 PM EDT
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ADEL, Ga. (WALB) - Cook County Schools will shut down classes for a week as COVID-19 cases rise.

A letter along with a calendar was shared with parents, explaining students will return the week after next, in a hybrid schedule based on their last names.

After starting back on Aug. 4, school is now out for the next 9 days.

Superintendent Tim Dixon tells us it’s disappointing.

“It’s been frustrating. I’ve been disappointed in myself because I didn’t foresee this. I wanted it so bad to be a normal school year,” said Dixon.

After almost two weeks of normal face-to-face instruction, the number of positive cases began to rise for students and staff.

This week, those numbers became concerning.

First day of school for Cook Middle School.
First day of school for Cook Middle School.(WALB)

Cook County’s Board of Education decided to implement a hybrid schedule.

“We feel like spreading out and still try to stay in school and not completely close it down. We tried online learning last year and for a handful of kids, it’s a great option but for most kids, that’s not a good option,” said Dixon.

As of Friday, Dixon tells us 43 school employees district-wide have tested positive to COVID-19.

202 students are positive and 382 are quarantined.

Most cases are in Cook Middle School.

Dixon says he’s glad so far students have been asymptomatic and no employees have been hospitalized.

He says the first few days of normalcy were exciting.

“As I was in the buildings seeing everybody excited and happy. Our opening day ceremony, our teachers were pumped up super excited and that’s why I got in the business to see all the excitement but we’re going to get there,” said Dixon.

A half group of students will return on Aug. 30.

Wednesday there will be no class, it’ll be used to clean, sanitize before the next group returns.

Schools officials hope numbers will decrease.

First day of school for Cook Middle School.
First day of school for Cook Middle School.(WALB)

The week of Sep. 10 they will reevaluate cases. If things look better, everyone will return.

Although some parents have liked the idea, others have expressed their disagreements.

Dixon says he understands this schedule can be a burden to working families.

“Hang in there. We going to hang in there. We going to keep our attitudes, remain positive. We’re trying to see this as our glass half full and we’re going to push through this just as we have the previous 18 months and we’re going to get back to normal, it’s going to happen,” said Dixon.

When students return, there will be temperature checks and masks are strongly recommended.

Click to read the full letter from the school system and an updated hybrid model schedule.

We’ll continue to follow this story.

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