New school year to begin Monday; No mandate on masks, vaccines

Dr. Bubba Longgrear

And just like that, summer is over. On Monday, the buses will roll as students return to classes at Metter Elementary, Metter Middle and Metter High School.

Prior to the first day of class, students and parents will be able to visit their respective schools at an Open House on Thursday, July 29, from 4-6 p.m.

“We are excited about the school year,” said Superintendent Dr. Bubba Longgrear.

With the emergence of new COVID cases, particularly those with the Delta variant, Longgrear reminds families to practice safety measures on campus. However, he said, masks and vaccinations are options and will not be mandated.

“Masks are optional for all in the building and on buses,” he said. “As a district, we are not going to differentiate between who has been vaccinated or not, so all procedures are applicable to all.”

Families will be notified if COVID has a direct impact on a student. “We will send letters home citing any time a student or teacher tests positive in a particular class that impacts that particular child,” Longgrear said.

After schools closed in spring of 2020 due to COVID, the system reopened last fall to a somewhat regular school program, although many students had opted to continue course instruction with Learning from Home programs.

This year, Longgrear said, the number of Learning from Home participants has declined.

“Very few are opting for LFH in grades 6-12,” he said. “It is not an option through the Candler County School District for elementary at this time.”

“We will continue to practice caution, but at the same time we will strive to maximize learning opportunities for all students,” Longgrear said.

See our Back to School section in this week’s paper for principal interviews, school schedules and a chance to get to know the new teacher. 

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