AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Some local students are already back in class, but the area’s largest school system is still preparing for a new way of learning.

“September 8th is still our target date,” said Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw. “We will continue to look at the data as it relates to the Augusta-Richmond County area. If we have to make a pivot, we will make that call, hopefully in enough time to so our community can adjust.”

During Tuesday’s called board meeting, The Superintendent of Richmond County Schools updated his board members about reopening schools. The Richmond County School District has more than 16,000 students signed up for RCSS Online Academy; that’s nearly half of the student population. The deadline to sign up for that option has been extended to August 7th at 5 pm.

“The reason we need to close the window at some point is so we can get the exact planning of virtual students versus face-to-face students, to prepare for both models,” explained Dr. Bradshaw.

Those elementary and middle school students who are learning in person will be in school Monday through Friday. The model for high school students will be determined on August 18th.

“We may have a final decision before August 18th,” said Dr. Bradshaw. “Regardless, we want to make sure we have the best model that supports quality instruction.”

The school district is also looking at ways to continue to feed its students who may need meals. All schools will serve as a distribution site starting August 7th.

“There are about 75 routes that will cover the identify areas that parents have stated they would like a bus to come,” said Dr. Bradshaw.