With the coronavirus pandemic widening in the United States, the Fayette County School System has decided to take a day off to decide what to do next.
One county over, the Coweta County School System has decided to take the next two weeks off.
The Fayette decision will give 20,000 students an unexpected class-free day. School staff — except for bus drivers and monitors — are expected to report to work as usual.
The Fayette system announcement on its website and via emails to parents said more information about what happens next week will be forthcoming.
Here’s the Fayette system’s announcement:
There will be no school for students tomorrow, Friday March 13. All staff, excluding bus drivers and monitors, will report. If students need to pick up any personal items, schools will be open during regular hours on March 13. Staff members with pre-existing health conditions who do not feel comfortable reporting to work and wish to take leave for March 13, must contact their supervisor. More information will be released tomorrow regarding school operations for next week.
Here’s what the Coweta School System said:
Coweta Schools closed for two-week period March 13 through 27
All Coweta County Schools will close on Friday, March 13th, for students and staff. The cancellation for students and staff will begin tomorrow and continue through Friday, March 27, 2020.
The school district will communicate with employees in the event of any changes regarding their work-related duties during this time period.
Based on information shared during Governor Brian Kemp’s press conference on March 12, the Coweta County School System will close for the next two weeks (March 13-27). This decision is being made to help protect school system students, staff, and families, especially those with fragile medical needs and ongoing health conditions, amid concerns about the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
This decision goes into effect beginning Friday morning, March 13, 2020. All scheduled school activities, including extracurricular activities, sports, practices and trips, are cancelled until further notice. Principals and teachers will communicate with students regarding any digital learning activities for students.
At his Thursday press conference, Governor Kemp said “This is not a mandate. We know school closures have a major impact on our Georgia families.” He also said that “Given the rise of the coronavirus… I am going to issue a call to action… If you feel it is prudent, you should consider closing daycares, schools, or school districts as early as tomorrow through the next two weeks.”
As explained in earlier communications from the Department of Public Health, the Coweta County School System currently does not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus that are connected to any students or employees; however, confirmed cases have appeared in neighboring counties. The school system has recently notified three schools (Canongate, Madras, and Western) in the district of situations where family members of students or staff are being tested.
Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Commissioner of Georgia Department of Health said “It is the right decision to move forward aggressively to make sure that those who are most vulnerable can be protected…Protection of our families is critical at this time.”
The school system will remain in consultation with the Georgia Department of Public Health and other state and local authorities as school officials evaluate this evolving situation. The school system asks that staff and families continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines as shared by Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Parents are encouraged to visit the Coweta Schools website (www.cowetaschools.net) for regular updates on this situation and for additional information regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus.