TIFTON — Schools may be closed, but classes are still in.
Following Governor Brian Kemp’s announcement on April 1 that public schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19, Tift County Superintendent Adam Hathaway said that Tift County Schools will find new ways to ensure students are learning.
He said that even though this is a new announcement, Tift County has already been operating under shelter-in-place conditions and that faculty and staff are prepared.
“We’re not going to have all the answers today or even tomorrow,” he said. “We are working on getting those answers and will communicate them to parents and students as soon as we can.”
Hathaway said that this is is a unique situation but that the school system faculty and staff are working to make sure students are still learning.
He said that students are still expected to do and turn in classwork and that the school system is working on ways to make that happen. Many students and teachers have turned on virtual learning via school-issued Chromebooks. Those students who do not have internet access are getting instruction in different ways.
“I’ve been extremely pleased with our school system’s response to this crisis,” he said.
Even though teachers and administrators were given little warning about closures, he said they have gone above and beyond to keep their students on the right track.
The school nutrition team is going to continue to provide meals for students on the current schedule, but Hathaway said that they will not be doing so during the week of spring break, April 6-10.
Hathaway said that while the exact date is up in the air, it is his intention to have commencement exercise for graduating seniors.
“Graduation isn’t walking across the stage,” he said. “A student graduates when they meet the requirements for graduation.”
He said that seniors who meet the requirements will graduate, regardless of a ceremony, but that seniors deserve to walk across the stage.
Hathaway urged the community to continue adhering to social distancing requirements in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
He urged the community to make sure they are getting school information from the school’s website and social media pages to ensure they are getting accurate, correct information.