Focusing on transparency in schools during the pandemic

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 11:17 PM EDT
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BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Burke County Schools are closing for the next two weeks. A reaction to the number of students testing positive for COVID in just one week. Earlier the superintendent met with her team to figure out a plan for virtual learning, athletics, and other aspects of school. The announcement came around 12:30 p.m. taking some parents by surprise.

Earlier today Burke County posted this announcement on their Facebook page.

Their schools planning to reopen the 30th after more than 40 positive student COVID cases. We spoke to one parent who says this is the first time they heard anything at all from the school.

“We have left messages no one has returned a phone call as of yet,” said Tonya Burke, concerned Burke County parent.

Tonya Burke found out her son was exposed to COVID from another parent and he just tested positive.

“I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed that staff members knew of this situation and they did nothing to inform the parents,” she said.

Transparency is major factor in keeping our students and school staff safe this school year. In Richmond and Columbia County, they continuously remind parents it’s their top priority.

“We’ll be watching that very closely, we’re gonna be reporting our numbers starting at the end of next week,” said Dr. Steven Flint, Columbia County Superintendent.

Numbers posted on their website.

“We’ll evaluate COVID cases weekly. In the event that anything occurs we’re just going to be very very transparent with sharing information,” said Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw, RCSS superintendent.

In Burke County Tonya Burke says transparency has not been the best.

“That is not the way that is not the school that I want my child to represent don’t get me wrong I love Burke County High School but they have got to do better,” she said.

Closed for the next two weeks and working on their future plans. Similar to Taliaferro County’s two week reset.

“Our goal is always to have our doors open that’s just who we are and I’m asking not just for my little school but all over the state if people could just do what they need to do so that we can keep our doors open,” said Cherita Williams Principal of Taliaferro County’s School.

Families and schools doing more to protect our students.

“I’m expecting them to do better. I’m expecting them to handle it in a better way,” said Burke.

And we are still waiting on those future plans for Burke County’s virtual learning, sports and extracurriculars. We will be sure to update you as soon as we get them.

To view Richmond County Schools COVID-19 numbers visit RCSS COVID-19 Data and to view Columbia County Schools COVID-19 numbers visit CCSD COVID-19 Data.

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