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Home learning is ‘best option for now’ as cases rise in Richmond County

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 5:53 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A massive change for schools in Richmond County as the district announced all school students will learn from home next week.

The district showed us the COVID-19 numbers they looked at before making this decision.

Seven schools in the system were already closed due to increased virus activity and starting next week, all others in the county will follow suit.

“Beginning Monday, November 16, all Richmond County schools will transition to learn at home,” said Lynthia Ross, Richmond County School System public relations officer.

After the closures of 16 schools within the last few weeks, the school system is closing the doors for everyone.

“We’ve got cases in our central office, we’ve got cases in transportation, we’ve still got cases in schools, and several schools that are currently operating in the learn at home environment. It’s a good time for us to leverage where we were as a district,” Ross said.

But parents on social media had various reactions to the news.

“This is totally absurd,” one said.

“They wouldn’t close the schools if they had other options,” another said.

The district feels closing schools is the best option.

“Given the impact across the district. We wanted to make sure that our schools, teachers, parents had an opportunity to prepare,” Ross said.

In the past, closures have been based on the number of quarantines within an individual school, but this decision was different.

“Having positive cases that have touched transportation, and our central office over the last week, the impact of those is not just on a single school or kind of like a community spread, the impact of those quarantines and positive cases impact all of our schools,” Ross said.

The district will provide meals to students that will last throughout next week, also Wi-Fi hotspots will remain available at each school.

“Our schools are not closed, they are transitioning to learn at home. So that means that while our students may not be physically present in the building, our teachers are still teaching, and the schools are still available for parents to call if they have questions,” Ross said.

A revised schedule will be sent out Friday for mobile Wi-Fi access provided by buses that park in local neighborhoods. Those buses will be available during the daytime for students now learning from home.

Richmond County students would go back to in-person classes Nov. 30 after a weeklong Thanksgiving break.

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