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The Scoop - Educators are making it work
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We here at the Southern Standard conducted a Facebook poll prior to the start of school that asked if people agreed with the decision for students to return to class in person.

Based on 2,100 votes, the results showed 56% disagreed with the decision for students to return to class, while 44% agreed.

As a local resident with one child still left in the Warren County School System, I took advantage of the opportunity to vote in the poll and I was one of the 56% who disagreed with the decision.

After seeing how the first 2.5 weeks of school have gone, I am exercising my right to change my opinion. I'm glad students are in class, at least some of the time, and I praise all the educators who have worked tirelessly to make this new system work.

As Director of Schools Grant Swallows told me Thursday, "We're better this week than we were last week and we'll be better next week than we were this week."

The 2.5-week, phase-in period was originally scheduled to end today with all students reporting to class on Monday. It was a wise move for the School Board to extend the phase-in period for the entire first nine weeks, giving us till mid-October to evaluate the COVID situation again.

I must admit my son seems a bit detached from the school process going just two days a week. He goes Monday, then has a day off. After he goes to school on Wednesday, he has a four-day weekend.

Everyone realizes this is not an ideal situation. But so far it seems to be working to keep COVID cases low.

Warren County schools have 29 students who have tested positive for COVID systemwide. There are 4 staff members who have tested positive. As for people in quarantine who don't have the virus but have been in close contact with someone who does, there are 101 students and 13 staff members in quarantine.

Those numbers aren't ideal, but they're manageable.

I'm giddy we're not in a situation like Metro Nashville Public Schools, which are doing all-virtual learning until at least Oct. 5. On Tuesday, Metro Nashville Director of Schools Adrienne Battle announced that all sports would be postponed until further notice.

For all the talk about big-city life, recent events have me appreciating small-town living more than ever. We're not rioting in the streets, our virus cases are relatively low, and our students are able to attend class in person.

As a newspaper guy, I realize, perhaps more than anyone, that not much is said when things go right, but a whole bunch is said at the first tremor of something going wrong.

That's why I'd like to take this time to thank everyone in the Warren County School System who has logged long hours to make this school year happen. It's working and it's giving our kids a chance to get instruction in a classroom learning environment, which is essential for social and educational development. Thank you!

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.