Schools in the city of Rome to monitor summer trend of COVID before setting policy for next year | Education
The City of Rome School Education Council will not make any decisions regarding COVID-19 guidelines and mandates until the summer.
Members discussed the issue during their spring work retreat on Saturday.
However, Superintendent Lou Byars has said he wants to see the state of the pandemic over the summer before deciding on their mask and social distancing policy for the next school year.
“Last year we thought we were going to be in the clear after the summer,” Byars said. “Obviously it wasn’t, so we want to wait, for now.”
Byars said about 500 of its 850 employees had been vaccinated. They have become a bit more lenient with some vaccinated staff, such as not requiring masks in small meetings with fully vaccinated employees and no quarantine for vaccinated employees potentially exposed to someone who tests positive for the disease.
Melissa Davis, a board member, who is also a doctor, said the region is still a long way from achieving collective immunity. She said the board still needs to be clear in its policies on masks and procedures.
“Don’t back down on these recommendations and policies, because that’s when people get more hesitant about the virus and the masks,” Davis said.
They will still offer a virtual option for the next school year, which the administration describes as a separate program, but not as a separate school.
At the moment, they have a small number of registrations for virtual learning for next year. Byars said this fits well with his plan to get all students in the same grade in the same classroom online. For example, all third year students in the virtual program will be in the same classroom.
This will only apply to primary and middle school students. High school students opting for online education will participate in the Georgia Virtual School program.
The board also held a closed session around the middle of the working retreat to discuss staff and assets. No action was taken.