Rome and Floyd County school systems are set to open for virtual and in-person instruction Thursday.

Both superintendents are asking parents to be patient as they attempt to figure out the best way to keep schools open and kids safe.

“It’s a challenge, but we’re prepared,” Rome City Schools Superintendent Lou Byars said. “We know everything won’t be perfect and we may need to put measures in place going forward. We’ll take (Thursday) and Friday to learn and will make any adjustments we need.”

Floyd County Schools Superintendent Jeff Wilson mirrored those statements.

“We’re really excited,” Wilson said. “We feel good about the precautions we have in place. Face coverings will be available and encouraged for students.”

There is still some concern about bus routes, and there may be changes as both school systems figure out how best to transport students to and from school using public health guidelines.

“Certainly this virus has a tendency to thwart plans from time to time,” Wilson said. “We’re just asking parents to be patient and allow us to be flexible.”

Some of the private schools in Floyd County have already opened. St. Mary’s Catholic School had kids in class Wednesday for the first day since March. Unity Christian School began classes on Monday.

School systems in surrounding counties have already hit speed bumps in their school year.

Polk County schools change plans two weeks in

The Polk County school system is making changes to their plans for in-class instruction less than two weeks into the new school year after a series of positive COVID-19 cases and resulting quarantines.

Polk School District Superintendent Laurie Atkins sent a letter home to parents Wednesday, announcing that students would be out of school next week. It’s to allow teachers to work on their online lesson plans, to better serve students in the classroom and those who may have to miss class due to a mandatory quarantine period.

In addition to that, beginning the week of Aug. 24, Polk School District will begin four-day weeks for students, with classes Tuesday through Friday. This will continue through the first semester.

Teachers will use Mondays to create digital lessons and videos for the week and it will give the district an additional day to deep clean their buildings and facilities.

Both students and teachers in the system have tested positive for COVID-19 since classes started back on Aug. 3. At Cedartown High School three football players tested positive. As a result, the team has halted practices and canceled its Sept. 4 season opening at Carrollton.

According to district officials, students in some Polk elementary school classrooms where a student tested positive for COVID-19 are now at home in quarantine, as are two Rockmart High School teachers who also tested positive.

Polk County Standard Journal Editor Jeremy Stewart contributed to this report.

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