Gilmer Schools sets Virtual Learning Days for coming storm

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GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Across the county, people are preparing for a potentially dangerous Winter Storm over the weekend and the school system is no different. A new statement today confirmed that the school system is moving two days next week to virtual learning days for students in caution.

boe, virtualTuesday, January 18, and Wednesday, January 19, will be virtual learning days for the school. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Gilmer has been no stranger to Virtual Learning through the online academy or home packets when the school went completely to distance learning. However, it has also become a common option for the schools in the last year for inclement weather days. Allowing the virtual learning salvages a snow day for the education system instead of a total loss of the day.

But the weather is not the only reason for these virtual days next week. The statement from Gilmer Schools said, “In response to rapidly increasing numbers of positive Omicron cases among our staff and the potential of a severe Winter weather event early next week, the Gilmer County Schools will transition to virtual learning days for January 18th and 19th, 2022.”

Gilmer Schools has only this week changed its COVID response procedures in accordance with the state of Georgia and Department of Health (DPH) guidelines. This change included some new changes from just last week, but also quarantine days that both government entities had changed in their guidelines on December 30, 2021 including the following guidelines on when to leave isolation after a positive test:

  • Had Symptoms:

    • At least 5 days* have passed since symptoms first appeared and
    • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved
  • No symptoms

    • At least 5 days* have passed since the positive laboratory test and the person remains asymptomatic

    • Note, if you later develop symptoms, you should follow the guidance for symptomatic persons above.

While the school system did not make a direct reference to these guidelines when setting their virtual days, Ridley has recently told FYN that the schools are doing everything they can to follow guidelines set while returning to a focus on students’ educations. Setting Virtual Learning Days for Tuesday and Wednesday will allow five days to pass without students in school due to the weekend and Monday’s school holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Accomplishing the virtual days will come with assignments being sent out to students through packets or Google Classrooms. The statement noted, “Teachers will be available via email communication.”

If parents or students have any question, they are encouraged to contact their student’s school directly for more information.

While the days are virtual learning, the statement did note, “All 12 month employees should report on Wednesday January 19th.”

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