Back to school, but with a virus? Schools reach out to parents for input

 Back to school but with a virus? Schools and parents will work hand-in-hand to work out how to get kids back to school safely. (Source: WRDW)
Back to school but with a virus? Schools and parents will work hand-in-hand to work out how to get kids back to school safely. (Source: WRDW) (WRDW)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 4:56 PM EDT
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Monday, June 15, 2020

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The new school year is getting closer, but coronavirus doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. And parents now may be concerned about letting their kids go back to school.

For most districts, nothing has been fully decided on regarding how children will be kept safe to prevent the spread of the virus. And most districts aren't trying to leave parents in the dark. There are just several options to sort through, to make sure kids are safe.

One thing’s for sure: it definitely won’t be as normal as it once was.

“COVID is still out there, and as you can see, our numbers for COVID cases are on the rise. So, there's no way I'm going to send my daughter or granddaughter back to school,” Kim Grisby, an Aiken County parent, said

Grisby is also a substitute teacher and says her daughter and granddaughter learn from home just fine. When Aiken county sent out a survey to parents asking for their preference for back to school -- she voted for full-time virtual learning.

She says ideas like staggered learning didn't make sense.

"By the time they come back the next week, you're going to have to re-teach them the stuff they learned that day, during the week before,” Grisby said.

The Department of Education is working on its recommendations:

If students go back to school, it could be on staggered arrival or dismissal. Buses would likely run at 50 percent capacity. And students and staff may have to wear PPE when social distancing isn't possible.

Some parents seem to be on board, several saying on Facebook that face-to-face is the way to go.

"It's no way that a 6-year-old is going to keep that mask on. We go to the store, and she's like, 'I want to go home. I don't like this. I can't breathe,’” Grisby argued.

On the other side of the river, Georgia's recommendations are aimed at specific districts. The level of community spread determines how school will resume in the fall: Minimal spread still includes social distancing in some way. But the substantial spread isn't permanent closure.

Ultimately, opinions will differ on all sides -- but it seems everyone is getting a voice.

"You can't guarantee. There's no guarantee right now that no matter what you do my child is going to be safe,” Grisby said.

Specifically, Columbia County schools say they will make their recommendation for going back to school at a board meeting next week. Richmond County plans to send a survey to parents soon to get their ideas and input. Burke County has also said they'll likely be sending out a survey as well.

Copyright WRDW/WAGT 2020. All rights reserved.

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