JEFFERSON, Ga. - Students are back in the classroom in Jefferson, Georgia. Jefferson City Schools had its first day of school on Friday.
Parents were given the option to send their kids back in person or opt for digital learning. The school's superintendent says 95% of students are back in the classroom.
Sande Bailey Gwinn was not one of those parents who choose to send her kids back to school. She opted for virtual learning
"With me choosing to do virtual learning, I had to open the chrome books and try to figure out passwords. It's been a tough morning," said Gwinn.
Schools look different across the country this year and Jefferson is no different. The coronavirus is at the front of the administrator's mind. The school system has detailed plans about how they're going to handle it.
"My feelings are anxiety. Not only for my household but for everybody's household," said Gwinn.
The Jefferson City School superintendent says of the 4,000 students enrolled in Pre-K up to 12th grade, 95% are back in the classroom in person. The school system is also not requiring masks, but strongly encourage them.
"My concern was that my child may not have symptoms, but what if she goes to my parent's home, and they have underlying conditions," explained Gwinn, "Then we've got a mess."
According to the school's protocols, if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, the student or staff member should stay home and contact the school nurse. That individual must wait at least 10 days to go back since symptoms first started. The individual also needs to have at least three days where they don't have a fever.
"The least I can do is try to protect them and pray for the whole community because I don't think any parent wanted to push their child into that," said Gwinn.
The school system will report any positive cases to Georgia's Department of Public Health who will help with contact tracing. It's a risk some parents were not willing to take.
"Knowing that we're the only school in the United States that's going back today," said Gwinn, "As a parent, you want to be first in some stuff, but I don't think we wanted to be first in this one."
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