Evans County’s public schools in Claxton, now called the Evans County Charter School System, will start the 2021-22 school year Monday, Aug. 9, with a traditional five-day class schedule after this week’s postponement.
Originally, classes at Claxton Elementary School, Claxton Middle School and Claxton High School were slated to begin Tuesday, Aug. 3. But a delay based on resurgence in COVID-19 cases was announced last Saturday, July 31.
Wednesday’s follow-up announcement made two things definite.
First, when classes do begin Monday, they will be on a full, five day schedule.
Second, “masks will be mandatory for all faculty, staff and students for at least the remainder of August,” the announcement stated.
"While we all are excited to return to school and resume a normal routine, the challenges of Covid-19 and the Delta variant are very real,” said Evans County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marty Waters. “We are prepared to return to face-to-face instruction and implement as many mitigation strategies as possible. However, we all must be diligent in doing what we can to stop the spread in order to keep schools operating normally."
School district officials had briefly considered a return to a hybrid schedule, with “A” and “B” shifts of students attending in person on different days each week. This was used by the Evans County system at the beginning of last school year, but it is not being implemented at this time.
Evans County continues to be in a high transmission zone due to the number of COVID-19 cases. Local health officials informed school system leaders that people from 34 to 54 years old are the age group most affected, Waters’ news release stated. He reported that 67% of the school district’s employees had been vaccinated, and that the school district had worked with “health partners” to provide vaccine clinics for the employees.
The school district is emphasizing mask wearing, hand washing and keeping one’s distance. All buildings are to be cleaned daily and giving a sanitizing fogging twice each week, and buses sanitized daily.
“The district will continue to follow CDC and DPH guidelines for quarantining,” the announcement stated.