More than half of Bulloch Co. students return back to school in person

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STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV)- Schools are officially back open in Bulloch county. The superintendent says 54% opted to go in person while the other 46% will continue virtual learning.

WSAV News 3 visited Sallie Zetterower Elementary for their first day back where staff members have posted traffic control signs in the hallway and sanitizer stations all around the school.

Charles Wilson, the county’s superintendent says distance and face coverings are the new normal, however there will be no actual enforcement of these rules.

“In relation to mandates versus building that expectation and encouraging people and lets all see the ramifications of what we do together,” said Wilson.

Wilson says the decision to offer both in-person and virtual learning options was community intensive. He says he gave parents and teachers the facts; nothing more, nothing less.

“Everything we do in life there’s a level of uncertainty and I don’t mean that lightly it’s just the truth we face,” said Wilson. “It’s about making informed choices, which we’ve allowed our parents to do and it’s about being clear about what we can and can’t do what,” he said, “what we will and wont do so people can make those informed choices.”

Deneatra Williams has two children in the Bulloch county school system. She says virtual learning is a no brainer for her family until infections slow down.

“I don’t knock the ones who decided to let theirs go back that’s their choice and this is my choice,” said Williams.

She he owns a daycare center and says because she’s around it also makes virtual learning a practical option. WSAV News 3 spoke with her children who both said they had technical issues getting in the online program.

“There’s a lot that we’ve been thrust into in this process, but you know that’s sometimes what happens,” said Wilson. “It’s not the way we would have liked to plan it out, but we’ve been able to work together,” he said, “we are working with these companies who are also a bit overwhelmed because of what’s going on.”

Wilson says inside all Bulloch county schools cafeterias are capped at 25% capacity. He says staff members are wiping down school surfaces regularly. Wilson says while the school would like to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks, they have a plan if one does happen.

“If a whole classroom has to be quarantined due to close contact with a confirmed case then we intend to put all of those students on our continued distance learning,” said Wilson, “to continue learning until everyone can come back two weeks later and continue with class as we know it.”

Teachers and students who aren’t feeling well are urged to stay home. Wilson says he will continue working closely with the department of health.

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