Richmond County school board looks ahead to the future of the district

Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 11:57 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the school year begins to wrap up and districts receive federal COVID relief money, some are looking at their biggest goals for the future.

Columbia County schools are set to receive more than 20 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan. Richmond County schools will get nearly 117-million dollars.

But even before that, they were discussing how they’d allocate the money they got from CARES 1 and 2.

One of the biggest things on Richmond County’s agenda is their extended summer learning program, which is funded by CARES.

“Really, the biggest challenge again, I have to say, has been educating our at-home learning students,” said Charlie Hannah, President of the Richmond County Board of Education.

Some parents say they’re ready to take full advantage of the program.

“My thought was if they continue to do school throughout the summer, they would be on track and be ready for the next grade next year,” said Crystal Langron, a Richmond County parent.

The program is open to every elementary and middle schooler. It’s optional, but highly encouraged, and runs from June 7th to June 24th. Breakfast, lunch, and transportation will be provided, and parents will be able to choose if their student learns in-person or virtually.

Looking further ahead, Richmond County says they’re on track to get laptops in the hands of every student by December.

“Because of the challenges we had with online learning with our students, our superintendent has been very ambitious about eventually going one-to-one,” said Hannah. “And with the new CARES Act money coming in, the board has approved for that initiative to begin.”

They say they’re also trying get more collaborative by offering parents a platform beyond public comments at BOE meetings.

“We are also looking to actually have an open door policy, you know, to really anybody who wants to speak to a board member,” said Hannah.

And after such an unpredictable year, parents say the teamwork would mean a huge difference for their child’s education.

“I just think that more parent input would be great. Give us a platform where we can bring our concerns, or bring our ideas so we can help these children get what they need,” said Langron.

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