Local Georgia school leaders adjusting plans following a new executive order by Gov. Kemp


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Out of class days keep piling up for students enrolled in Georgia schools. Originally, Governor Brian Kemp ordered schools to be closed until March 31. But the governor has extended the closure because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

School buses and hallways at Georgia schools will stay empty for over a month.  

“Given the way the virus continues to threaten, I believe most people recognize that we really weren’t going to be able to start school back at the end of March,” said Columbia County School District Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carrawy.

Governor Kemp made the announcement on March 26 that schools will remain closed through April 24. Students will return to class on April 27. 

Dr. Carrawy said, “We appreciate he acted sooner than later. Our families need to be able to plan for childcare and how they will respond to continuing this shutdown.”

Many senior projects are in jeopardy. Although Dr. Carraway told us several students have presented their projects over the past few weeks. As for proms, things aren’t looking too good.

“Proms, sadly, most of them have been scheduled in for now, for the first part, mid-part of April, so there’s a strong possibility those will have to be canceled as well,” explained Dr. Carraway.

In Burke County, schools spokeswoman Amy Nunnally said the school system will send an update on additional distance learning procedures soon. 

School leaders in Richmond County are working on a new coronavirus response plan due to Governor Kemp’s updated closure announcement. They will meet virtually March 27.

As for graduations, Dr. Carraway says commencement exercises may be moved to a later date. 

She said, “If the governor is correct and we can go back to school at the end of April, then maybe we can have graduation in May. If not, we’ve already communicated with James Brown Arena folks and we have sort of penciled in a possibility in the latter part of June.”

The Columbia County school officials are scheduled to meet April 14 to make decisions on how the school year will come to an end. As for the rest of Georgia schools in the CSRA, we will continue to keep you updated as soon as plans are made.

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