Clarke County students begin heading back to school this week. In-person classes began for some students today. We spoke with Clarke County School superintendent Dr. Xernona Thomas about the transition.
"It will be for our students who are served through our Adaptive Special Education program."
The phased-in plan will continue adding days and grades through March 22nd when high schoolers will also attend in-person classes and students will attend four days a week.
"We won't have all of our students back four days a week, but some are in a cohort model, others are coming Monday and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, allowing us to some additional deep cleaning. This is an optional choice for families, they do not have to return back."
Brannon Gaskins, the Chief Administrative Officer explains the timeline.
"The reason why we prioritize our special education students is, it is very difficult, when we think about the programming of those students and their needs, to provide instruction for them remotely. If we brought back our high school or middle school students first, sometimes we're bringing back the caretaker. So bringing back our younger grades also helps address the childcare issues that parents may have."
You can hear more from Dr. Thomas and Gaskins on Athens News Matters.