Columbia County elementary school students to begin in person learning Monday


EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – The head of Columbia County School District is putting parents at ease by breaking down how socially distant learning will work in-person for elementary age kids. This week, we told you about staggered scheduling for middle and high school kids. Now, Dr. Carraway shares the plan for younger kids.

We keep hearing wear your mask, wash your hands and stay 6 feet from others. But how does that work with small children in a learning environment.

Columbia County Schools Superintendent Sandra Carraway told us the classroom will look different.

“Often times, in the pass you would go into a classroom and you would see the desks face to face, in groups of four or groups of three. We won’t be doing that anymore for a while,” she assured us.

She added that nearly 80 percent of elementary school students in Columbia County elected to show up for traditional in person learning next week.

“The good news about this pandemic is that for children under the age of 12, the threat is greatly reduced,” she said

A Return to School Plan for the 2020-2021 school year on the district’s website outlines what parents and students should know about learning together with COVID-19 still present. In order to keep schools safe, Carraway said everyone will act out the plan, which includes staying home when sick, wearing masks when social distancing is not possible, avoiding large groups and getting rid of students sharing commonly touched objects such as athletic gear during physical education.

“We have bought hand sanitizer by the barrels,” she said. “We will have hand sanitizer. We have put up 350 dispensers. If parents want to send their kids to school with face coverings, with hand sanitizers, we certainly encourage them to do that.”

Carraway added that the district will follow CDC guidelines. But if the virus gets worse, students will switch to learning from home.

“We believe that when we help educate children, they will take some of that home with them,” Carraway said. “Maybe they will encourage their older brother or sister; Don’t do that! Wear your face covering. That keeps everyone safe.”

Columbia County elementary school students opting for traditional in person learning start school Monday, August 3. Those learning from home start school Monday, August 17.

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