SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As we approach the third week of the school year for Savannah-Chatham County students, many parents are finding themselves worried with the current spike in COVID cases in schools all across the coastal empire.
The Savannah branch of the NAACP hosted the Superintendent of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Dr. Ann Levett to provide an update on the school year, and highlight potential plans moving forward.
“Our intent is to keep the doors open, but our intent is to do that safely and that’s going to take everyone,” said Dr. Ann Levett.
As of August 17th, more than 350 SCCPSS students contracted COVID-19 and over 4,000 are in quarantine in just their second week back. That accounts for nearly 11% of all students in the district. Due to current staffing numbers, Dr. Levett says they aren’t currently able to offer remote learning in a case-to-case basis.
“We made a commitment this year based on what we experienced last year with our families and based on the direction given to us that we would offer in-person instruction…At this time, we do not have enough staff to separate one group from the other group,” said Dr. Levett.
However, Dr. Levett did acknowledge that if cases continue to rise, they are prepared to change course if deemed necessary.
“We are in a position to pivot if necessary. We have extensive knowledge on COVID safety and we have COVID response teams at every school, and at the district level,” she said. “We have all that we need for students to continue learning and teachers to continue teaching if for some reason they are in quarantine.”
A major part in keeping schools open will be getting those eligible age-12 and older students vaccinated, something SCCPSS is helping aid by hosting vaccination clinics for students and their families.
“We were scheduled to offer the vaccine to about 360 students yesterday, about 300 students yesterday, and that was very successful. So, we’re happy to see parents take on that responsibility of making sure that they and their students are vaccinated,” Dr. Levett said.