An elementary school in Georgia has closed a classroom after a second-grader tested positive for coronavirus just two days into the new school year, while photos of students packed close together have raised questions about the security policy for personal learning.
Cherokee and Paulding County, two of the first school districts in the country to reopen, resumed a full five days a week on Monday. But these early days of navigating instructional instruction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic pose new challenges for schools.
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Cherokee County School District officials announced Tuesday that a teacher at Sixes Elementary School near Canton and 20 other students were sent home to quarantine and taught online for 1
Officials said the teacher did not show any signs of COVID-19 symptoms, FOX5 Atlanta reported.
At the same time, Cherokee and Paulding schools have asked questions about their worm-optional policies.
In Cherokee County, dozens of seniors gathered at two of the district’s six high schools to take the traditional first day of school, with students squeezing in black clothes. No one in the pictures at Sequoyah High School in Hickory Flat or Etowah High School in Woodstock wore a mask.
Cherokee County school spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said the photos were not a sanctioned activity and officials only became aware when the photos were posted on social media.
In Paulding County, student photos taken Monday and Tuesday show narrow corridors at North Paulding High School in Dallas. Many students were not seen wearing masks.
Paulding County Superintendent Brian Otott wrote in an email Tuesday that the images were accurate, according to the Associated Press, adding that the district follows state guidelines.
He said that class change is “a challenge” and that “it is an area where we continue to work in this new environment to find practical ways to further restrict students from gathering.”
He added that “there is no doubt that the photo does not look good”, but defended the district’s decision not to require masks and wrote that “wearing a mask is a personal choice and there is no practical way to carry out a mandate to wear them. “.
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Both districts give parents the opportunity for lessons five days a week or online learning. In Cherokee, 22 percent chose distance learning, while 30 percent of students chose it in Paulding, the Associated Press reported.
Other school districts in the state have students who begin the year with distance education.
The 180,000-student Gwinnett district said it would begin teaching all-virtual on August 12. It later announced that kindergarten children, first graders, sixth graders, high school students and some special education students would be back in school as early as August. 26, with other grades following in phases.
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Gwinnett and Cobb County, who also announced all virtual classes, have met with protests from parents demanding personal classes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.