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Carter County Schools begin in-person learning at 50 percent capacity

BY BRITTNEE NAVE
STAR CORRESPONDENT
Carter County Schools began in-person learning at 50 percent on Tuesday, Sept. 8. 
This follows the relaunching plan set by the board of education in August. The plan involved two weeks of in-person learning at 25 percent beginning Aug. 24, followed by two weeks of in-person learning at 50 percent. 
Tracy McAbee, director of schools, said guidelines will continue to be followed. 
“We’re continuing to follow guidelines as best we can while introducing more students for instruction from their teachers,” he explained. 
McAbee described his expectations from the increase with in-person learning. 
“My expectation is that students will be able to get more direct learning from two days instead of one,” he said. “Really that doubling up on interaction with the teacher and getting instruction before going home and practicing it.”
McAbee hopes to get students excited to be back at school and learn new information. He also said with this increase to 50 percent, he believes teachers having stress over learning methods may be alleviated to a degree. 
The school system meets with the Health Department weekly to go over COVID-19 case numbers and receive guidance on plans. As of last week, while the numbers were not great, McAbee explained they were not standing out to implement any changes as of now. 
As previously reported, when parents do not receive a call from the school or Health Department regarding cases of the virus, that is a good thing. Calls are set aside for those who have been in contact with the virus. 
The school system has been approved by the SSO program until Dec. 31 which allows anyone under the age of 18 to receive a free lunch. These are available daily and delivered by bus on Friday, which is the virtual learning day for all students. 
McAbee said he is thankful for the smooth transition so far in resuming school.
“I’m grateful for how things have been going for the last month,” he said. “Teachers have been great, parents and grandparents have been great working with teachers, students have been excited to see their teachers when they are in school. I’m just happy things have gone as well as they have, and have done so because of the support from the entire community.”
McAbee said for guardians it is best to stay in contact with school officials as well as checking school websites and social media for continued updates. 
The next school workshop will be on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on Facebook Live from the school system’s page. The next meeting will be on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 5:30 p.m. on Facebook as well.