LaFayette, GA (WDEF) – Walker County Schools is closing starting Monday, November 16, and will remain closed through the Thanksgiving holidays. This applies to both virtual and in-class learning. The move is due to the spread of COVID-19 throughout the district. This will allow those who need to quarantine to do so and let officials deep clean the school buildings.
Walker County Schools Superintendent sent school employees a letter explaining the move Thursday afternoon.
You can read the full letter below:
Thank you for doing such an amazing job of taking care of our students so far this school year. The heroic efforts from everyone have been inspiring and speak from the heart of a true educator and the honorable profession you have chosen. We have seen minimal impact from positive COVID-19 cases and the associated close contact quarantines through the first 12 weeks of school due primarily to our focused mitigation efforts in every classroom and building across our District. Over the past two weeks, we have seen a surge across the District due to factors outside of the school buildings and our control. This has caused a spike in positive cases, the associated close contact quarantines, and the need for many teachers to stay home and provide necessary child care due to positive or quarantined students or closed daycare facilities.
Based on that data and the limitation on filling vacancies due to teacher absence, we have decided to close all schools (virtual and in-person) on Monday, November 16 and remain closed through the Thanksgiving Holidays. This will allow those who are currently positive or under quarantine the necessary 14-day window to recover from the virus or fulfill the time associated with quarantine and to be healthy and ready to return to school on Monday, November 30. This will also allow us to deep clean our buildings during this time. At that point, we will begin a hybrid schedule at every school across the District for the remaining three weeks of Semester one. This will allow us to limit the possibility of exposure to our students and staff by reducing the number of students in the buildings during the week.
Monday, November 16 will now be a teacher planning day to accomplish the following:
-prepare for the hybrid schedule
-complete any outstanding tasks
-prepare packets for students without devices
Teachers may bring their children with them that day and keep them in the same room where they are working as long as the child/children are not currently positive or under close contact quarantine. Details can be worked out with your building administration.
Tuesday (17) through Friday (20) will be off contract days and will be rescheduled for May 24-28 (which will include the make-up of the inclement weather day-October 29). This will allow us to make up the instructional days we are missing next week. Final in-service dates will be shifted to June 1 & 2.
I will be sending a video message out to our parents this afternoon to ensure everyone has this information and the necessary time to work out the details for child care next week and once we enter the hybrid model.
Thank you again for your hard work and dedication in the midst of a very unusual and stressful year. You are truly amazing and your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Mr. Damon Raines
Walker County Schools
PO Box 29
LaFayette, GA 30728
(706) 638-7827 (fax)