SCCPSS leaders discuss possible COVID-19 changes upon reopening next school year

Education

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The coronavirus could bring some drastic changes to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. The school year may be over, but that’s not stopping school leaders from discussing innovative ideas of what the new school year will look like.

The Savannah-Chatham County School District admits next school year will look very different than what people are use to.

“There’s no going back to normal whatever normal is for now,” SCCPSS Superintendent, Dr. Ann Levett said.

Some of those new changes could include students in grades 3-12 having the option of continuing online learning or going back into the classroom. A committee has been formed to decide what that will look like for K-2. Students will have access to equipment and resources for help in classes.

“I think this really opens an option up for them that will try to satisfy their safety concerns as well as learning,” Board President, Dr. Joe Buck said.

For families that decide to send their students back to the classroom each building could be reduced to 60 percent capacity to keep students socially distanced. The same goes for transportation to and from school.

The coronavirus forced the school district to shut down in March. School board officials don’t want a repeat this coming school year so they’re taking action despite not getting any guidance from the state.

“My heart hurts every day for what might be but I don’t think that we can sit back and wait for somebody to tell us how to make it work,” Buck said.

“I just think we are going to have to make some decisions soon so parents can plan. While we need to be nimble and flexible we’ve got to start making some decisions because parents are dying for information,” District 1 Board Member, Julie Wade said.

Discussion is still underway on how the district might support families that cannot have their children home alone and is something they have to look at.

While this is still new territory for school leaders they’re doing their best to meet the needs of each student while understanding all of this comes at a cost.

“We have the resources to redirect the way we deliver instruction and our other services my next step as I look in these materials is being intelligent about where the money is moving from to make this happen because all of this is going to cost a pile of money,” District 2 Board Member, Dr. Dionne Hoskins-Brown said.

The school district still has not made any final decisions on how schools will be reopening this fall. You can read full details and view presentations from the board meeting here.

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