SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The second group of Savannah-Chatham County Public School System students headed back to the classroom Monday.
The school board voted not to reopen schools to in-person learning back in January after the holiday infection surge.
The first group returned on Feb. 17. In total, more than 12,000 students will participate in a hybrid-style learning model.
SCCPSS leaders say students will have alternating schedules:
- Cohort A: 7,670 students
- Cohort B: 4,763 students
The first cohort will attend school three days a week and two days virtually. The second cohort will have three days of virtual instruction and two days in person. The two groups will switch every three weeks.
It was a long-awaited return for some White Bluff Elementary School students, who haven’t been in school since December.
Amantha Walls says it’s happy day for her daughter who missed her friends and her teachers.
“She did good virtually, but you know, she did miss being here with some of the kids,” said Walls.
“She was here prior to the holidays and I feel really, really comfortable,” she added. Walls is confident her daughter will be safe and says she’s at peace knowing the classes will be small.
“It’s a small classroom setting,” said Walls, “her teachers been great I’m excited for her. I know she’ll be fine.”
School officials are requiring that masks be worn in every building. They also plan to screen students for COVID-19 and require them to social distance.
Unfortunately, it’s still not enough to ease every parent’s nerves.
“I’m happy that they are back in school, it’s just unfortunate that, you know, it’s the pandemic, and everything that is going on with COVID,” said Latonya Williams. “It’s worrisome for a parent.”
Of the school district’s more than 36,000 students, close to 24,000 are staying completely virtual.
The possibility of an outbreak does concern Walls, but she’s hoping administrators will keep parents in the loop about any suspected cases.
“I definitely would want to know if that occurred in the school,” she said.
Students and teachers will use technology in the classroom to accommodate the students who elected to remain completely virtual.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cited strong evidence that schools can re-open safely.
SCCPSS says any family whose child remains in virtual learning at this time but would like to be considered for the in-person hybrid option should contact their child’s school no later than Wednesday, Feb. 24.