Forsyth County Schools announced Friday afternoon that South Forsyth High School and Alliance Academy will be switching all students, with the exception of specialized instruction classes, to virtual learning next week following a rise in COVID-19 cases.
The principals of both schools sent out a letter to parents and staff Friday, letting them know virtual learning will start for students on Tuesday, Jan. 19, and will continue through Friday, Jan. 22. Schools are closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
For the time being, both letters said parents and guardians should continue to contact school nurses if their student tests positive for COVID-19 “since this may impact student participation in extracurricular activities and school attendance” the following week.
Teachers and staff members are still expected to report to campus during the week, as has been the case in previous school closures during the pandemic. Those students who need to pick up an item from the school that they will need in the next week can stop by the school’s front office on Tuesday, Jan. 19 to check out the item.
Student extracurricular and after-school activities will continue as normal “so long as the activity/athletic team is not experiencing an outbreak.” The letter states, like in previous closures, that they encourage only the family members of participating students to attend activities on campus.
South Forsyth Principal Laura Wilson wrote that the school’s production of “Oklahoma” and upcoming athletic tryouts will continue as scheduled. Socially-distanced tickets to the production will also be honored. Before leaving for events, both principals ask that attendees take their temperature and make sure they are following COVID-19 guidelines.
“We also request that all South students and families continue to practice proactive COVID-19 preventive actions during this time, especially avoiding large gatherings, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing while in public,” the letter states. “To ensure a healthy return to school on January 25, 2021, we ask that you assist us by limiting your student’s exposure outside your immediate family unit as much as possible.”
According to the FCS website, 320 in-person students and staff reported that they tested positive for COVID-19 this past week. The district’s previous highest spike in cases during a full week of classes was 204 cases on Dec. 14-18 directly before the winter break started. The cases are counted out of a total of 41,296 face-to-face students and staff.
During this past week, South Forsyth reported a total of 36 cases and Alliance Academy reported a total of four.
Although both campuses will be closed to students, buses will continue to run for specialized instruction classes. Students who may need it can also pick up free meals from school locations during the week. For more information, visit www.forsyth.k12.ga.us.