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CARROLL COUNTY (July 30) — With the increase in cases of the COVID-19 virus, two of the five Carroll County schools have announced a delay in opening the 2020-2021 school year. Both are now …
CARROLL COUNTY (July 30) — With the increase in cases of the COVID-19 virus, two of the five Carroll County schools have announced a delay in opening the 2020-2021 school year. Both are now starting July 17 instead of the planned date of August 4. McKenzie, Clarksburg, and Hollow Rock-Bruceton plan to open August 4.
West Carroll School Board voted July 28 to delay the opening and Huntingdon announced the change on July 30 in an announcement by Director of Schools Pat Dillahunty.
“Due to increase in the virus spread in our local community, the first half day of school for Huntingdon will be August 17. All Open Houses previously scheduled for tonight have been cancelled. We will continue to monitor the virus spread in our community and make changes as necessary.”
She asks parents to visit the district website and Facebook page for updates and to direct questions to the building principals:
West Carroll Board of Education voted unanimously to delay the start because administrators did not believe they have the necessary safeguards and resources to begin school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
William Robinson, chairman, openly questioned if the children would be safe and if the school faculty and staff had the resources.
Dexter Williams, director of schools, said the school is still awaiting the arrival of Chromebooks, which are expected to be shipped in late August. Those Chromebook laptop computers are necessary for students to work from home in case a major uptick in COVID-19 infections forces the school to shift from in-person to virtual, at-home instruction.
Jackie Wester, principal of West Carroll Primary School in McLemoresville, said the school is not ready. She said, each student is to be issued an individual water bottle, which has not arrived, sanitizing stations are to be throughout the building. Those have not arrived. Many students have not registered, causing school staff personnel to attempt to find parents and guardians through social media to urge them to register their children. She noted everyone, teachers, students, etc., must undergo a body temperature screening before entering the building. That, along with enforcing social distancing of students during bus duty, requires additional manpower.