13,322 students attend in person, 6,230 virtually in Fayette’s first week of school

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Booth Middle School among ‘few positive cases’ requiring quarantine — 

The first full week of school ended for Fayette County Public Schools, with a few Covid-19 cases surfacing and with approximately 19,500 students attending virtually and in the classroom.

The school year began with 31 percent of students signing-up to attend virtually for the entire year. The remaining 69 percent of students are on a hybrid schedule, with those students split into two groups and with each group in the classroom two days per week and attending virtually three days per week.

School system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said attendance by Thursday showed 6,230 students attending virtually and 13,322 students (both hybrid groups combined) in the classroom.

“We have definitely reached a milestone with the completion of the first week of school for the 2020-2021 school year. We want to thank all of our students, their families, our teachers and staff, as well as our administrators and school board members for working together as a team to put a plan in place that has worked very well,” Berry-Dreisbach said. “Because of the plan, and the dedication of everyone to implement it as outlined, we have had a successful start to a school year that none of us could have imagined a year ago. This entire pandemic has been anything but predictable. We worked extremely hard over the summer, often having to change gears multiple times based on the behavior of the virus, to devise a re-entry plan that would give students the quality education they deserve while keeping them, their families and our staff safe. The virus is unpredictable, but we believe that our re-entry plan is solid enough to withstand whatever direction the virus takes next.”

Berry-Dreisbach earlier in the week expressed the belief that the “Winners Together” campaign has helped to spread the word within the community about the importance of wearing a face covering, social distancing and frequent handwashing.

As for cases of Covid-19, Berry-Dreisbach said the school system has experienced a few positive cases involving staff and students, “But we are not seeing the numbers that other school systems have experienced.”

One of those cases was at Booth Middle School in Peachtree City, where Principal Steve Greene on Aug. 21 sent a letter to parents noting that an individual at the school tested positive for the virus.

All students who have been deemed a “close contact” received a personalized notification from the school. In an abundance of caution, and in accordance with the Health and Safety section of the Fayette County Public Schools Re-entry Plan, we have required all “close contact” students and/or staff members to quarantine for 14 days effective immediately, the letter said, adding that safety protocols for sanitizing the classroom(s) and other possible affected areas in the school are being followed.