Students return to the classrooms of Metter Elementary, Middle School and High School on Wednesday (today). And while some families are continuing the remote learning opportunities, several families that learned from home the first semester are choosing to return to the classroom this semester.

According to Superintendent Bubba Longgrear, the first semester, with hybrid learning opportunities, was very successful. Longgrear was especially pleased with how students and staff responded to safety protocols.

“I am very proud of the success that Candler County School District experienced first semester in terms of minimizing COVID spread at school,” he said. “We worked closely with DPH to communicate all tested, positive, and close contacts for students and staff. 

“Of the 300 plus students/staff sent home due to close contact during the first semester, we have been unable to definitively identify any that wound up getting sick from that close contact. 

“Our discovery during the first semester is that school is not the place for significant spread. Many of our staff have been exposed/infected since the semester ended and some are still sick and not returning to work until well. 

“Our plan is to follow the protocols established prior to the start of school with the exception of more strictly encouraging staff social distancing at all times possible. 

“We will monitor developments daily and adjust protocols as needed. Our nursing staff, Brittany Hendrix and Melissa Crooms, has done a wonderful job of staying on top of the COVID situation. Thanks to all parents and community for partnering with the school system to keep all safe.”

At Metter Elementary, of the 1,051 students enrolled, 146 participated in Learning From Home first semester. There are 69 students currently signed up to do Learning From Home this semester, said Principal Lesa Brown.

Metter Middle School had 155 of its 531 students enrolled in Learning From Home  in the first semester, but 65 will return to classes this semester.

“We will continue our in-person learning with the same proactive measures as the first semester,” said MMS Principal Will Thigpen. “In order to accommodate the return of students who have been learning virtually, we are shifting to Edgenuity as our online learning platform. We hope that this shift will create a more user-friendly experience for students who are learning from home as all lessons and materials will be on one platform. Teachers will continue to make themselves available to students who are learning from home via online learning sessions. Additionally, our school counselor as well as our Learning From  Home liaison will be available to support students learning remotely.”

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