The Wayne County School Board will meet on Thursday, February 11th. The meeting is scheduled to be held in the Waynesboro Middle School Cafeteria, due to the large attendance that is expected.
The student attendance schedule is the main item of interest on the agenda for many parents and students. Wayne County students in all grades are currently on the AA/BB schedule, with Group A attending on Monday and Tuesday, and Group B attending on Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays are designated for distance learning students. At the last board meeting, Superintendent Davis proposed a schedule that would continue as it is now for grades 5 through 12, but students in grades PreK through 4 would attend four days per week. After much discussion among the board members, it was ultimately voted that the current AA/BB schedule would remain in place for all students through February 12th.
Many parents have expressed their concern and frustration about the current schedule that only allows in-person learning two days per week. Katie Steele, who is the mother of a Collinwood first grader had the following to say about the schedule: “The reality is I want my son in school. I am not concerned enough with current Covid numbers to feel that it warrants continuation of the current school schedule. We held him back last year due to Covid closing schools while he was already struggling with some concepts. I want him ready for 2nd grade. I don’t want him anxious about virtual (edit: distance) learning and whether he will get to go to 2nd grade next year. I don’t want his anxiety boosted by lack of structure that school gives and the lack of social interaction all our kids are experiencing. School is more than learning facts. To a lot of kids in this county it is their only access to decent food, loving adults and role models, and escape from abuse. I am not trying to cause any kind of problem, I literally just think kids should be back in school and I think parents and caretakers deserve answers if that isn’t going to happen. And I’m a fact girl. I think we deserve actual facts supporting Covid concerns if that is the main problem we are facing.”
Wayne County teachers seem to be divided on their opinions about kids coming back to school full time. “As a parent and teacher I would LOVE to see the kids come at least 4 days a week!” said one Wayne County teacher. “If cases rise, we can pull back! Parents, voice your opinions to our board members!”
“I believe the concentration should be on how to safely reopen — teachers receiving the vaccine first, adequate ventilation systems in buildings, more PPE for faculty and staff, local and state level support for educators,” said Kala Abernathy, 8th grade teacher at Collinwood Middle School. “Also, if the parents are really concerned about schools reopening then there needs to be a push for the community to do its part by wearing masks, practicing social distancing & staying home unless completely necessary. Not all the work should come down on the school.”
The meeting on Thursday is open to the public. Parents are especially encouraged to attend, and will be allowed to voice their opinions to the board.