The continued increase in COVID-19 cases in local schools has forced the Polk School District to revert to old pandemic precautions and practices.
In the three weeks since classes started, which saw a return to full in-person instruction and regular activities during the school day, the school district has been monitoring new cases of coronavirus among its students, teachers. and its staff.
Reports on Friday showed that more than 1% of the district’s school population had tested positive for COVID-19, with eight of the district’s 10 schools also having more than 1% individually, up from four the week before.
As a result, Superintendent Dr Katie Thomas announced on Thursday that the district will offer a virtual academy option for those eligible, with apps available on the district’s website. Applications will be accepted until Sunday, August 29.
According to information available on the district’s website, the virtual learning option is being made available to students and families who feel the need to further protect their health and safety during this rise in COVID-19 cases, mainly due to the Delta variant. .
Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the site, with the district reviewing items such as medical documentation, grades, attendance, and previous virtual learning experience.
“I have the feeling that when it comes to our school system and the climate of our school system, we’re off to a good start. We focus on positivity and use it as a motivator within our schools, ”said Thomas.
“Are we facing external factors that we hoped not to address, such as COVID and the Delta variant? Yes. And that’s unfortunate. But we are addressing it by tracking our data and putting mitigation strategies in place, and we will continue to do so as we monitor these conditions. “
Polk Virtual Academy will offer students the opportunity to use technology-based, teacher-supported courses to earn new credits or continue their courses from Grades 1 to 12. Dedicated instructors will have access to valuable student data to make informed educational decisions for each student.
Upon approval, each student will receive a Chromebook device, and each accepted student’s family must be able to provide reliable internet access.
All but two of Polk County’s schools – Cedartown High School and Westside Elementary – reported that more than 1% of its population tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. The other schools are taking the precautions taken during the 2020-2021 school year. These include safety measures such as structured hallway transitions, lack of water fountains, limited number of visitors, and eating in classrooms.
While unvaccinated employees at designated schools are required to wear face masks, the choice is optional for vaccinated employees and students but strongly encouraged, according to the district.
Updated test data is posted daily on the school district’s website under the COVID-19 tab. Thomas called on all stakeholders in the district to do their part by not sending students to school when they are symptomatic and parents’ notes related to COVID-19 absences will be accepted.
In an effort to help fight COVID-19 both in schools and in the community, the Polk School District is partnering with Floyd Health Systems to provide free Pfizer vaccines to everyone who attends the game. high school football this week as Cedartown hosts Rockmart.
Healthcare professionals with Floyd will be in place to administer the vaccine. Those interested can go ahead and plan to get their shot during the game by visiting bit.ly/footballvaccines.