DAWSON COUNTY, Ga.- With the school year for Dawson County already well underway, several precautions have been taken in the “best interest” of the students in the county for a safe school year, amid COVID-19.
“This time of the year, there are all kinds of changes [in the first few weeks of school],” Tiffany Davis, executive assistant to superintendent of Dawson County Schools, said.
The first couple weeks of the school year is when students are deciding on a school, as well as making the change from in-person to virtual as well. According to the Dawson County School District’s website, a total of 3,676 are enrolled, with 523 staff members.
There is a total of 14 positive COVID cases and one staff member.
Hershel Bennett, assistant superintendent for human resources and operations, stated this school year has been more involved on the back end of things to prepare for the arrival of students again in the fall.
“There’s a lot more work [that was] put in [during] the summer,” Bennett said.
Within the schools, there’s constant cleaning, directional arrows – as well as encouragement of masks – and social distancing with each portion to the day including lunch. Bennett explained that the schools are dispersing students to sit in classrooms, while socially distancing, and in cafeteria or lunch spaces.
Bennett claimed approximately 15% of families in the Dawson County School District are attending school online, but that will most likely fluctuate throughout the school year.
“Continually having to be flexible and have a plan ready to start school was a key to getting started this year,” Bennett stated.
The school district is taking several steps to keep the students safe, including:
- Buses have assigned seats; siblings next to one another, being socially distant when possible
- Social distancing within schools, with directional arrows
- Use of masks is encouraged
- Created water refill stations; closed water fountains
- Lunch schedules are extended
Bennett said the district will continue to keep the students safe and put them first, as they have been, to give the best learning experience. According to Bennett, Dawson County COVID cases have dropped each week.
“Our schools have done an exceptional job with social distancing, contact tracing and making sure that the students are following as many guidelines as they can to keep them safe,” Bennett said.