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Columbia County educators aim for repeat of ‘great first day’

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 5:56 AM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s the first day of school, part 2, for Columbia County.

Middle and high school students with last names starting with the letters L through Z will head to campus today for the first time since schools shut down in the spring to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Monday was the first day of classes for students whose last names start with the letters A through K. Kids came to school wearing masks and walked in divided hallways where teachers gave out hand sanitizer outside classrooms.

“People were wearing their face coverings. They were happy to be back. Outside of that new look, it was a great first day,” said Dr. Sandra Carraway, Columbia County superintendent.

Officials and parents say things went pretty smoothly — and they want a repeat today.

So they’re working to perfect their back-to-school process in hopes of an even better experience for students.

The two groups of students will attend school on alternating days, learning from home on the days when they aren’t on campus. This will help keep the student count down in the buildings, aiding in social distancing. In addition, thousands of students’ parents are opting to have them learn from home full-time.

This week is marking probably the most unusual start of the school year ever. But for many, it's one step in the right direction.

Some parents said bringing their children back to school was nerve-racking, but there was a feeling of relief and hope.

They say with new guidelines and rules in place like wearing masks and social distancing, they hope their decision to send their kids back won't leave them with any regrets.

“It was definitely hard sending her off. I haven’t seen her classroom. I haven’t met her teachers face to face,” said Kristy Montgomery, a Columbia County parent.

“It’s a little bit much for this mommy heart to handle, but we are handling it.”

Tomeka Few, another Columbia County parent, said: “You still had the jitters, but they were different jitters. Because you had to make a decision that was best for your household.”

Some parents say that if things don’t go as planned and schools instead have to go virtual, they’re still confident they made the best decision for their family.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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