Columbia County schools finalizing plans for summer sessions

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 11:00 PM EST
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Highlights from Tuesday night’s Columbia County school board meeting

  • Online academy will be the only virtual option for next school year.
  • District had 178 positive covid-19 cases when students returned for the first full week of school in January. That number went down to 75 last week.
  • High school graduation will be limited to six guests per family, but there’s an exception.
  • District also plans to have in-person classes for summer school.

What happened at the meeting

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - From new buildings to COVID reports, to plans for virtual school, there was a lot of information in Tuesday night’s Columbia County Board of Education meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway began the meeting with remarks about new beginnings for Columbia County.

“For our new high school campus, preliminary plans were approved by the state, our architect and engineers are working on finalizing those plans,” she said.

And next came the updates about some of the same old struggles.

“Since we returned in January, our first full week in January, we had 178 positive cases among students and staff. Last week, only 75- I say only, recognizing that’s a huge number,” Carraway said.

But she says the most recent numbers, although still a bit high, are a step in the right direction. Those numbers are about half as much as they were a week ago.

In light of the numbers, the board also decided to limit high school graduation to six guests per family, but families can request more tickets if for family if they live in the same home.

And as for next year’s virtual academy, the district intends for it to be the only virtual option, with close to 400 middle and high school students signed up so far.

“Our expectation is that COVID in our community will continue to be on the decline, and so hopefully come next August, the people who have chosen to be in a virtual school environment are just those who find that to be a great way to learn,” Carraway said.

A sign of the times that the district hopes COVID-19 will be less of a headache for students and staff come fall.

“We feel very positive that COVID will continue to decline in our community and have a less and less impact on the way we do business every day,” Carraway said.

One of the other things discussed in the meeting was summer school. The district intends to host summer school in-person as usual with no changes, but some of our other districts have switched things up.

In Aiken County, middle schoolers only need to pass three core classes including math and English in order to avoid summer school. Before, students needed to pass all four core classes.

In Richmond County, summer school for high school students will be held virtually.

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