The first day of school is always chaotic.
Adding in new measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus was just an extra thing to consider when getting students to classes.
“It was a typical first day, but nothing out of the ordinary,” Rome City Schools Superintendent Lou Byars said.
For the most part, students ate lunch in their classrooms and the schools worked to keep students in smaller encapsulated groups.
Schools limited access to parents and visitors this year and Floyd County Schools Superintendent Jeff Wilson said that made the first day a bit less chaotic, even with all the new measures.
“Because we were getting kids out of cars and not having folks in the building, it went a little smoother,” he said.
While some walked down the halls to find classrooms, other students logged in for their first day to be greeted by teachers in their virtual classrooms.
There were some glitches that are being worked out in the virtual classrooms but nothing unexpected, Wilson said.
The first few days in school are generally a time for students to get acquainted with their surroundings and, in-person or virtually, it wasn’t any different, he said.
“We should have that ready to go pretty soon,” Wilson said.
After students go home on Friday, the administrators will get together to discuss how things could be done better.
“Tomorrow afternoon we’ll sit down and review the good and the bad and make changes,” Byars said.
Other school systems in north Georgia that began earlier in the month are already seeing closures because of infections and quarantines.
Woodstock High School on Wednesday became the second Cherokee County high school in two days to close because of a surge in COVID-19 cases, school system officials said.
At the end of school Tuesday, Etowah High School closed until Aug. 31, because of a high number of confirmed and possible COVID-19 cases, Cherokee County School District officials announced Tuesday.
Polk County has also taken a week off after a rising number of infections or exposures.
A high school in Paulding County that made national headlines for images of students without face coverings packed into school halls closed Wednesday.
North Paulding High School confirmed there have been 35 new COVID-19 cases since first day of school. They’ve canceled in-person classes for the rest of this week and will begin a two days a week staggered scheduled starting Monday.
Students in Calhoun and Gordon County returned to in-person classes on Wednesday.
“Will there be confirmed cases in the schools? Yes. As one of the largest employers in our city and county, Calhoun City Schools has already had staff members who have had direct or indirect contact with persons who have COVID-19,” Calhoun Superintendent Michele Taylor told the Calhoun Times.
“We are realistic in knowing that reopening schools will likely cause an uptick in cases due to increased testing and exposure. We also know that education will be key to help us slow the spread and act responsibly.”