August 20, 2021 School Reopening Plan Revisions

September 17, 2021
Updated Covid Protocols

There has been a significant spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Calhoun, Gordon County over the past month. School Covid positives are showing a steady decline, which is encouraging.  In reviewing all information, we feel that it is best to stay the course with the safety protocols we presently have in place. Once it is safe to do so, we will lift mask requirements and masks will continue to be optional.  

 We have addressed specific concerns related to school operations, such as the closing of water fountains, and decreasing the number of students in cafeterias. We commend our students, staff, parents and community for supporting our efforts. What we are doing is working and will allow us to continue in-person instruction. We will re-evaluate the re-opening plan again prior to fall break which is scheduled for October 11, 2021. Our top priority is the safety of our students and staff. Working together, we believe we can keep our schools open and safe.  If you have questions and/or concerns, please email ccs@calhounschools.org.


August 20, 2021

Charting the Course to Excellence
#BE THE LIGHT: Shining the light on the health and safety of our community

While we had hoped for a more "normal" start to the school year, the most recent information from Gordon County's Covid Task Force, AdventHealth Gordon and the local Department of Public Health gives us cause to reevaluate our Reopening Plan. With a significant spike in Covid 19 cases and hospitalizations in Calhoun, Gordon County and the number of student positive cases from the past week, we must amend our Reopening Plan. We want to do everything possible to continue in-person instruction and learning for the 2021-2022 school year.

We know that the use of masks does not guarantee that the virus will not be spread; however, this is something we can do to help as advised by the CDC and the Department of Public Health. Beginning Monday, August 23, 2021, masks will be required (like last year) for students and staff in classrooms where social distancing is not possible, in hallways during transitions, and on school buses, regardless of vaccination status until September 17th. We will re-evaluate on this date.

Masks, contact tracing and heightened safety and security protocols kept us in school all year last year. We hope this temporary requirement will help us navigate the challenges of this most recent surge. Once we feel it is safe to do so, we will relieve the mask restrictions and requirements and masks will continue to be optional. Each school has re-evaluated cafeteria use and have made modifications to lunch schedules and operations. We must also restrict visitors / volunteers to each of our school campuses until further notice. (This does not include instructionally related opportunities.) Thank you for understanding.

In the spirit of transparency, Calhoun City Schools will continue to post weekly Covid positive cases on the website, as was standard practice last year. We will continue to share information regarding where to receive the Covid 19 vaccine. We appreciate everyone's support as we work together to combat the spread of Covid 19. Please contact me directly with any questions and / or concerns. I can be reached at 770-773-6575. Our top priority is the safety of our students and staff. Working together, we believe we can keep our schools open and safe.

Review of CDC Recommendations:
  1. Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.
  2. Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID 19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
  3. Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  4. In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as screening testing.
  5. Screening testing, ventilation, hand-washing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
  6. Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
  7. Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, and other members of their households and support in-person learning.
  8. Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).