Meigs County Schools will continue an additional week utilizing the staggered schedule.

According to Meigs County School Director Clint Baker, the reopening of schools has gone well.

“Things have gone fairly smooth,” Baker said.

“We have a staggered schedule going and it has helped us with cleaning protocols, social distancing and contact tracing.”

The extension of the staggered schedule was to round out the month and begin school regularly following Labor Day.

“We had heard some things about other systems and what they were having to deal with so we thought let’s just get through Labor Day then we will see where we are at,” Baker stated. “We want to get the kids back in school but we want to be safe about it no matter what.”

Keeping the students safe during the current pandemic is their main goal, according to Baker.

“Our main priority this year is to make sure kids and staff are safe,” he said. “This priority is ahead of everything else — accountability, state tests — we just want them safe, so if we need to we can easily go back to the staggered schedule since it is working so well.”

He stated they have hit some “bumps” with the staggered schedule, though, when it comes to state requirements.

“There are some disadvantages when you are dealing with this, like trying to make sure you are keeping pace with the state pacing guides for testing, so we have to balance that with making sure that we are safe,” he explained. “The advantages, however, allow us to make contact tracing easier, social distancing easier and it has allowed us to pretty much operate as normal even though we are doing this with less students in the school each day.”

He believes there are areas that could see improvement for all school systems.

“We are not perfect and I don’t think there is a perfect plan out there, if there were we would all be doing it, so there is always some improvement that can be made in everything,” he said. “All of us are going through this for the first time. We are all trying to make sure that we are doing things right but at the same time doing them safe.”

Baker shared his gratitude for the support people have contributed during this time.

“I just want to thank our staff, students and our community. It has really been a joint effort on everybody’s part to make sure that this start has gone smoothly and as safely as possible,” expressed Baker. “I want to thank everyone for their efforts in that regard.”

Email shane.duncan

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