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Schools to drop mask mandate, online learning
Bryan County Schools


Bryan County Schools will drop its mask mandate and online learning option next school year, it was announced Friday morning.

In addition, masks will be optional at Saturday’s graduation ceremonies at Bryan County High School and at Glynn County Stadium, where Richmond Hill High School’s commencement will be held, according to Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher.

Brooksher said masks will be optional for students and employees beginning June 1 and that will continue through the 2021-2022 school year. The system required the wearing of masks on school grounds for all its students and employees as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 In recent months, some parents urged the system to drop the mask mandate.

At Thursday night's school board workshop in Black Creek, Brooksher said board members should be prepared to hear from those who may want the mask mandate to remain in place. 

Below is the text of an email sent Friday morning to parents and school system employees.



Thank you for a great school year!

As we get ready to graduate the 2021 class of Bryan County High School and Richmond Hill High School tomorrow, individuals sometimes forget we had to reinvent public education after the Governor shutdown all schools back on March 18, 2020. Yes, there has been a lot of uncertainty tied to this once in a life time pandemic and the evolving guidelines for public education and heightened health and safety concerns for all.  After hundreds of hours of planning, we opened our school doors in August to the masked smiles of thousands of students while also offering a high-quality, teacher-facilitated virtual option to students and parents.  


As a result of your partnership as parents, unwavering resolve, and focus on doing the right thing, Bryan County Schools became a model of success across the state and country.    Multitudes of other districts continue to promote a sense of crisis due to the level of learning loss experienced by their students.  After reviewing our performance data this year and comparing it to the prior two years, we need to shift the narrative and talk about learning gains!  I give credit to our teachers, leaders, students, all support staff, board of education, the community and our parents for collectively navigating this unprecedented event together.  Everyone’s hard work paid off as we addressed each challenge along the way and have now completed a very successful school year. 


Planning for the 2021-2022 School Year

After studying the most current data and information surrounding COVID-19, vaccinations, and public schools, Bryan County Schools will be making the following adjustments for the 2021-2022 school year:


  • The wearing of masks will be optional for students and staff;
  • The district will only offer face-to-face instruction.  e-Learning will no longer be an option.


We take these decisions seriously, and they come after studying and reviewing current health metrics and updated guidance from state and national agencies.  Bryan County Schools is excited to move in this direction as we continue to work towards normalcy for our school system.  This shift in protocols is a testament to calculated decision making and your hard work to ensure the health and safety of our school community.  Because of this, we feel comfortable in easing some of the restrictions that were previously put in place.  Also, the vaccination of staff and students should be considered a personal choice and will not be a requirement of the district.


This new guidance will take effect June 1, 2021 and will impact both summer school and summer camps hosted by our community education department.


The board of education and I continue to be appreciative of your commitment as parents and the enormous amount of energy and time that has gone into making Bryan County Schools the very best for our students. The 2020-2021 school year has been a collective effort of everyone showing up and demonstrating how dedicated you are to our students.


I want to wish each of you a restful summer and personally thank you for your support of Bryan County Schools.


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