CHATTAHOOCHEE COUNTY, Ga. (WTVM) - Chattahoochee County is one of the school districts in the area that’s already looking at the state’s suggestions and developing a plan that encompasses not only the safety, but emotional well-being of the students as they return to school.
“How do we stagger bell times? How do we stagger lunchtimes so that we don’t have an excessively large group and gathering at once?”
These are the questions Dr. Kristie Brooks, the superintendent of Chattahoochee County School District, said she and the board of education are looking at as they prepare to reopen schools.
Georgia released a 10-page document to schools allowing districts to determine whether they should reopen or keep school buildings closed for the 2020-2021 school year.
The guidelines call for districts to participate in contact tracing with state health officials, place educational signs on good hygiene in school buildings, and decide how to handle students and teachers who show symptoms of the virus.
Brooks said the district is currently developing a draft of what the school year ahead might look like so parents have a better understanding.
“After we have the additional information from our public health department and our local EMA, we do hope that on June 30 we are able to create a draft,” Brooks said. “We do know that we will put that out to the public and we know it’s going to be subject to change because from June 30 to the start date in August, there is going to be continued new information.”
Gwen Echols, who serves as the district social worker and member of the Governors State Restart Work Group Committee, said a key component as Chattahoochee Schools look to reopen is to incorporate the emotional well being of students.
“Social and emotional learning right now, is where we really need to look because kids are having a new normal. And to help them to process all that, I think that this is the time where we need to upscale what we do. And we are ready to do that in Chattahoochee County,” said Echols.
The school district will also be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations of practicing social distancing by limiting class sizes. More guidelines of what to expect for the coming year can be heard at their virtual board meeting June 30.