Cooper reports first day of school was ‘a great success,’ schools were prepared to re-open

(file photo)

During his first day of school report, Superintendant Matthew Cooper said that Habersham School’s first day was “the smoothest of the nine” first days he has experienced. Cooper says he visited all 14 Habersham County schools on their first day of in-person classes since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m not sure I saw one single staff member that wasn’t happy today,” he says.

The superintendent says he was impressed throughout the day by the steps faculty, staff, and students have taken to practice social distancing in classrooms, some of which include outdoor seating for lunch and classtime, extended recess, new protocols in the lunchroom to keep students separated, and exercises to help elementary students understand “their bubble.”

“The bottom line is this, our schools were ready for September the eighth,” Cooper says. “A big reason why things went so smoothly today is because we took our time, we didn’t rush back to school, we took our time and put some excellent plans in place.”

Woodville Elementary School released a video to encourage students in the new school year, even though this year might look a little different.

14 percent of Habersham students are currently enrolled in virtual learning, while 86 percent are back in schools for face-to-face learning.

Habersham schools currently have one active COVID-19 case at Level Grove Elementary, which is a staff member who has been quarantined. Cooper says that the faculty and staff at Level Grove followed social distancing protocols so closely that no others had to quarantine for possible exposure.

“We’ve been very realistic. We’re not pretending that just because we didn’t have any active cases today, we won’t have some tomorrow, or next week and so forth. That’s going to happen, we have 6,887 students,” Cooper says. “We’re not going to pretend that we’re not going to have cases, but we’re going to communicate with parents.”

Students and parents can keep an eye on Habersham County schools’ COVID-19 cases via their website, which will be updated every Monday before 4 pm.

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