DCSS talks return to in-person learning amid COVID
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - On Tuesday, Dougherty County Schools welcomed students back to school in person.
With a growing number of COVID-19 cases in Dougherty County, the school system said they still believe they can operate in a way that keeps students, faculty and staff safe.
Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said they want to keep kids in school because they know how important in-person learning is. He said if there comes a time when they have to go virtual, they do have a plan in place.
“We’re not sacrificing their safety and well-being just to have them in person. If we felt as though we could not provide a safe environment in person then we would not continue in-person learning,” said Dyer.
Dyer said they aren’t offering a virtual option like they did last year because of investing millions of dollars in COVID-19 safety and cleaning measures.
″We didn’t have all the tools in our toolbox we have now. We didn’t have the indoor air cleaning devices. We didn’t have the vaccine available, ”said Dyer.
They are continuing to test students weekly, take temperatures, require masks and cleaning schools daily. Dyer said their school data shows a student is more successful in an in-person learning environment.
″We’re trying to do everything we can to protect the safety of our students, as well as provide them with the best possible learning environment. Which we learn to be in person particularly for elementary and middle school,” said Dyer.
This decision did stir up conversations on social media.
On Monday, the school system posted a reminder for the first day back, a post that racked up around 200 shares and 70 comments.
Dyer gives some clarity on the issue.
“If a parent decides to do something different, we have to respect that. For students who have underlying health conditions provided by a medical profession, we have options for the students in terms of virtual learning other than that, we don’t give that option,” said Dyer.
Dyer said if a parent decides not to have their child in school in person, they are still required to complete the work.
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