A little patience can go a long way now. A COVID vaccine is likely just a few months away. COVID adjustments may only be needed until then. Let’s adopt the best practices of our more deliberative neighboring school districts.
First, let’s be responsible and publicize the actual PCSD COVID numbers on the main page of the PCSD website. Haralson County has a COVID-19 Weekly Update on their main web page that gives the number and percent of staff or students either testing positive or in current quarantine. Also, they are posting multiple photos of classes with all students wearing masks.
Floyd School District requires masks for students and teachers. Cartersville schools have been successfully using a hybrid system of having some students come on Tuesday/Wednesdays and the others on Thursday/Fridays, with the rest of the days requiring online school attendance. Using this approach, Cartersville schools have had just one student case per a thousand students and are now able to project returning elementary students (with the absolute lowest rate of cases) to a regular onsite schedule.
Four out of the five high schools in Paulding County have now adopted this hybrid model, which has slowed the rate of transmission in those schools with the earliest adoption. The Polk per capita COVID transmission rate is higher than all its immediate neighbors and nearly twice as high as Paulding and Haralson, in which the school districts are taking much more careful measures.
It is now September, a vaccine is likely around the corner. Let’s be professional and responsible by posting the actual COVID numbers on the main PCSD web page, requiring masks and social distancing, and limiting onsite student attendance to two days per week. We can do that for just a few more months.
Perry T. Barrett