In-person learning in Columbia County: What families can expect next

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 6:07 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - From Columbia County’s changes to school learning models, we asked our viewers what questions they had in their minds and went to the board to get the answers.

Starting next week, middle schoolers in Columbia County will begin to phase back into schools for full face-to-face instruction.

Changes are coming for high schoolers too, with some students returning face-to-face on Fridays. Those students with a “C” average or below in one or more classes will return to face-to-face instruction Fridays starting Oct. 23.

The option extends to high schoolers with A’s and B’s if they choose.

“Even if their grades are good, they want to see their friends, the whole social and emotional aspect,” Dr. Jeff Carney, Columbia County Schools Associate Superintendent, said.

Some parents wondered if their students could leave after specific classes.

“Students with ‘C’ or lower, even in one class, they must come for the entire day, whether they are in group ‘A’ or ‘B,’” Carney explained.

For all students going on Friday, it’s a semester-long commitment.

“What we would hate to happen, is if a student has a ‘C’ and in a couple weeks, they pull it up to an 80, which is a ‘B’, and then they stop coming and slip back down,” Carney said.

Other parents wondered if students learning on A/B schedule would still be alternating.

“We stuck to the current A/B schedule. So many of our parents had already lined up doctor’s appointments and other things on that A/B schedule. We really didn’t want to add a whole 'nother change to that,” Carney said.

And some were confused if new material will be presented on Fridays with only certain students going back.

“New material is going to be expected on this Friday, so if you’re in-person, you’re not just getting a rehash of what’s happened earlier in the week,” Carney said.

That goes for the students at home too.

“Whatever’s taught in person, will also be taught for the people not attending, virtually. So, it’s the same content, it’s just going to be delivered two different ways,” Carney said.

If your student makes A’s and B’s, but they still want to go to school on Fridays, you have to let the district know by next Wednesday to make that switch.

Right now, the school board is meeting to organize a group to select the next superintendent. They’ll be working to fill the position for next school year.

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