The Hall County School District will extend learning from home through January 15, 2021.
As of yesterday, there were 170 COVID-19 related absences among Hall County team members. Additionally, we have 170 to 190 adult absences per day that are non-COVID-19 related. As a result, the district does not have the capacity to safely and effectively support the number of students currently enrolled for in-person instruction. The number of individuals willing to substitute teach is declining daily, and unfortunately, similar to what we witnessed following the Thanksgiving holiday, the number of positive cases and quarantines among team members is increasing significantly.
The impact of COVID-19 goes beyond classroom personnel. On average, we have 15 to 20 bus drivers absent per day, and the pool of substitute drivers is extremely limited. Other essential team members from technology, school nutrition, custodial services, and maintenance, are also affected. We have said from day one that our biggest challenge in managing COVID-19 would not be spread among students in our buildings; but rather, would we have enough adults present to hold school and effectively deliver instruction.
Additionally, we have an obligation to do our part in protecting the health of the community and in supporting the local healthcare system. As of yesterday, the hospital had two ICU beds available with 315 patients being treated for COVID-19.
The district will continue to monitor its numbers internally and will consult with local health officials regarding community spread and available resources. Parents and stakeholders will be notified by the end of the day on Thursday, January 14, concerning next steps for delivery of instruction following the MLK holiday.
When we are able to return to in-person instruction, the district will spend a limited number of days following a hybrid A/B schedule to revisit and introduce 200 Percent Accountability and our mitigation measures.