Forsyth County Schools switched back to “normal operating procedures” on Monday, Nov. 29, following the Thanksgiving break, dropping COVID-19 measures that have been in place since the beginning of the school year in August.
FCS Spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo said these “normal” procedures may look different depending on the school. Individual school leaders sent out emails to parents and guardians to explain what operations look like now that students are back from break.
Across the board, schools will be allowing visitors back into the buildings after nearly a year and a half of barring parents and other guests from visiting during the school day.
Caracciolo said this was the biggest concern school leaders heard from parents and guardians at the elementary schools this school year as they were unable to have lunch with their kids, volunteer at the school or take part in their child’s education.
Upon entering the school, visitors will have to go through a health screening and answer questions including if they have had any symptoms of COVID-19 or been exposed to the virus.
“We will still continue to contact trace and post COVID-19 data on our website to monitor possible surges,” Caracciolo said.
Before the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bearden announced the year would start off normally without any COVID-19 measures. After just days, cases began to climb, and the district was forced to put measures into place.
Added measures for elementary schools included restrictions on visitors and field trips. Many parents were disappointed by the news, originally excited to hear they would be able to take part in their child’s school day.
FCS originally shared that the restriction would last only until Labor Day in September, but later had to extend the measures until further notice.
COVID-19 cases within the school system have significantly declined in the last several months, dropping from nearly 1,000 active cases at one time during its peak at the end of August to nearly 60 active cases at one time just before the Thanksgiving break on Friday, Nov. 19.
Caracciolo said the decision to remove the COVID-19 measures was based on these low case numbers both in the school system and the overall Forsytah County community.