Virus Outbreak Standardized Tests

FILE - In this May 18, 2021 file photo, fifth graders wearing face masks are seated at proper social distancing during a music class at the Milton Elementary School in Rye, N.Y. As the nation closes out a school year marred by the pandemic, some states are now starting to release new standardized test scores that offer an early glimpse at just how far students have fallen behind — with some states reporting that the turbulent year has reversed years of progress across every academic subject. New York, Georgia and some other states pushed to cancel testing for a second year so schools could focus on classroom learning. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) — As students and staff get ready to return to the classroom in Douglas County Wednesday, masks will now be required.

The Douglas County Schools Board of Education approved the measure Monday night. Masks will now be required in all buildings and buses for all students, staff and visitors.

The district did note that it is not their intention to have a year-long mask mandate.

In a release, the district says its decision to implement the mask mandate was based on several considerations, including the following:

  • Douglas County is now in a high transmission status; the two-week case rate and two-week positivity rate in Douglas County exceed the Georgia rate and the rates of all surrounding counties.

  • Hospital admissions have increased.

  • The highly contagious Delta variant now accounts for approximately 80% of cases.

  • Only 35 percent of Douglas County residents are fully vaccinated, far below the state average.

They also cite organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, all recommending mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status.

If you are interested in transferring your student to e-learning because of the new mask mandate, you still can, but the deadline is approaching quickly. Here's what you need to know:

  • For those who would like to change to online learning, you may register for FLEX Live-Online. Click here to fill out an interest form. If the interest form is completed by August 6, you will be contacted by August 9 with your child’s schedule and login information. If you fill out the form after August 6, you will be scheduled as you are added. The deadline is August 13.

  • For those who signed up for FLEX Live-Online and would like to attend in person now that masks are required, you may also change your selection. You will receive an email to confirm whether you will stay with FLEX or whether you want to move to in-person learning. You will need to fill out this form by August 6. However, you may report to your zoned school on the first day of school, August 4, and the administrators will prepare a schedule for you.

  • Students must commit to FLEX or to in-person learning for the entire first semester, which ends December 17.

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