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Not shutting down
Superintendent says schools will reopen after Thanksgiving, despite rumors
Bryan County Schools

Rumors apparently making the rounds that Georgia schools won’t reopen after Thanksgiving break due to COVID-19 are wrong, Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher said Thursday.

“There is no plan to shut the schools down,” he said. “We will reopen after the break and we will make it as far as we can make it.”

It’s unclear where the rumors began, but Brooksher told school board members at Thursday night's meeting in Richmond Hill he’d gotten questions about it from local parents.

Thanksgiving break in Bryan County runs Nov. 23-27.

Some districts have reportedly suspended in-school instruction until after Thanksgiving due to the pandemic, but the majority of the approximately 10,000 students enrolled in Bryan County Schools are now attending school rather than take classes online. In its most recent weekly update on COVID-19 cases, the district said there are 7,685 students attending classes.

Of those, 128 were quarantined due to school-based close contact, and the district reported seven students had tested positive from Nov. 9-13.

The Bryan County Schools website said parents will again be able to enroll their children in either in-person classes or e-learning during the second semester, which begins in January.

But some students who have been enrolled in online classes could find themselves without a choice. Some students in e-learning may find themselves forced to go to class next semester due to poor academics, according to Dr. Trey Robertson, the district’s assistant superintendent for teaching and learning.

He told school officials about 18 percent of the approximately  2,100 students in e-learning are currently on academic probation and if their work doesn’t improve, they’ll have to return to school in January. The majority of the students who aren’t passing are in high school, he said.

Also Thursday: 

The playground equipment for newly-opened Frances Meeks Elementary has apparently arrived, but not before a delay caused by a detour to Canada, Assistant Superintendent for Operations Dr. Jason Rogers told board members.

“It was held up in Canada. We don’t know why. The good news is it is now on site and in the process of being installed for those children,” he said.

Rogers also told school officials the district decided to limit seating for the upcoming basketball season to 33 percent of capacity at Bryan County High School and Richmond Hill High School, and seats will be marked to ensure social distancing.


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