The Long County Board of Education met in regular session Monday, Sept 14, following the first week of the 2020-2021 school year that began on Sept 9. The school year for Long County Schools was postponed from Aug 10 after an influx of COVID-19 cases in Long County. Administrators presented their first-week reports to the board at the meeting.
Superintendent David Edwards reported 3,913 students enrolled in the school system with 95 no-shows, 2,155 students attending class in-person, and 1,663 students attending online.
Smiley Elementary School reported approximately 62 percent of K-2 students are attending in-person and approximately 38 percent are attending online. These numbers do not include pre-kindergarten as those students do not have a virtual option. Though there was a rocky start to parent pickup procedures on the first day of school, SES administrators reported meeting with school and district leadership to reconfigure those procedures to make sure vehicles are not stretch onto the highway blocking the flow of traffic.
Both McClelland Elementary and Long County Middle School are dismissing students from their classrooms at the end of the day via PowerPoint and have reported higher instances of parent pickup. McClelland reported approximately 147 students are picked up by their parents, while LCMS reported approximately 176 students are picked up by their parents. LCMS reported that approximately 45% of the students are attending online making in-person class sizes between 14-19 students.
Long County High School reported success with staggered release times between classes and at the end of the day, resulting in no tardies in the first week of school.
According to administrators, food service has been preparing and delivering breakfast to students in the classrooms and preparing to-go lunch for students to pick up and take back to their classrooms. Food service staff have also been offering lunch for virtual students to pick up on Monday.
Transportation staff verified that parent pickup numbers have increased so that buses may as few as ten students on board depending on the route. However, bus drivers are needed, according to staff. Bus monitors to check temperatures and make sure students wear masks are also needed.
Assistant Superintendent Lisa McCallister presented the COVID Report as of the end of the school day on Sept 14. According to McCallister, there has been 1 positive case of COVID-19 among students, with 35 students quarantined due to possible exposure, and 5 positive or presumptive positive cases among employees with 5 employees quarantined. A case is considered presumptive positive if the person has had exposure to someone positive and is displaying symptoms, said McCallister.
McCallister said the school system is working with the Department of Public Health, relaying information about positive cases and receiving daily updates about Long County and the surrounding counties. McCallister said information about positive cases is given so that DPH can engage in contact tracing. She also told the board they continue to take sanitation measures and contact parents and employees about possible exposures.
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