Richmond County Schools set to open early September

Richmond County

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — About 35,000 students are getting an extended summer break. Augusta’s school board decided to delay the start of school. The initial plan to reopen schools in Richmond County was August 3rd. Due to concerns of growing COVID-19 cases, September 8th the new expected start date.

“Knowing that our trend is doubled and we were expecting to open schools in the next couple of weeks, was just something we weren’t comfortable with,” said Lynthia Ross.

As of July 14th, there are 1830 confirmed cases in Richmond County.
The Chief Public Relations Officer says school leaders hope the surge is over by the new start date, and there is a change in plans if kids choose to learn face-to-face.

“In the new model, face-to-face instruction is now Monday through Friday,” said Ross. “So there is no virtual learning option for that.”

Parents have until July 27th to decide whether their children will learn face to face or online. Also during the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw explained his decision to cancel traditional graduations. Outside of the meeting, angry parents and students protesting.

“We have eight high schools in Richmond County,” said Tyriq Robinson. “Even if we do it at one high school, it’s okay with me. Like a bubble, I’m satisfied with that. But to have more high schools in the county around us and not present a plan, it’s just unacceptable.”

The high schools will hold drive-through graduation ceremonies for students to pick up their diplomas at their schools.

“As parents, how are we suppose to comfort our kids from this?” asked Shacoula Wilber. We don’t know how to comfort them because that’s a moment they’ve been looking forward too. And a thing called drive-thru graduation, that’s not even fair to them.”

“I didn’t come all this way for them to hand me my diploma like hamburger,” said Sedekreana Bailey. “I can’t do it, and I hope they change their mind.”

Further delay to start school or transition to full-time online learning could be a possibility if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Photojournalist: Will Baker

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw presented updated plans for the reopening of Richmond County Schools Tuesday. Board members voted unanimously for schools to open Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

Beginning September 8, 2020 families will have two options. They can attend traditional face to face classes, or they can choose virtual learning. Registration for Online Academy has been extended through July 27. 2020.

“Based on the increase of coronavirus cases in Richmond County, we recommend starting school after Labor Day with hopes that this surge in our community will decline. Both virtual and face to face instruction will begin September 8, 2020. If there continues to be a surge in coronavirus, all students will begin virtual instruction on September 8,”

Dr. Kenneth Bradshaw

For more information on the reopening, please CLICK HERE to visit the RCSS website.

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