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Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis speaking during the Board of Education’s special called meeting Monday.

McDONOUGH — The Henry County Board of Education voted to transition into Phase 4 of the district’s plan to return to on-campus learning.

The vote was 2-1 with Board member Annette Edwards voting against the measure. Members Pam Nutt and Josh Hinton were absent from the special called meeting on Monday.

Phase 4, scheduled to start on Oct. 26, will bring high school students to the classroom Monday-Friday. Those in grades 9-12 are currently attending school on a split schedule based on their last name.

Students in pre-K through eighth grade returned to the classroom Monday-Friday on Oct. 5.

The return applies only to those families who have chosen face-to-face instruction. All others will continue with remote learning.

Edwards said she was concerned about moving into Phase 4, knowing that there are teachers and parents who are “overloaded.” She acknowledged the district’s goal has been to get kids back in school and that previous phases are “going very well.”

“We want parents, teachers and students to know we’re always thinking of you, we want the best for you,” she said, adding that BOE members are doing “the very best we can.”

Board members Sophe Pope and Holly Cobb, as well as Edwards, indicated they would like to continue to hear from teachers and staff about the district’s plans.

“We’re aggressively moving forward as to how we can continue to improve this,” Pope said.

The discussion is expected to continue during the board’s Nov. 9 meeting.

Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said “the solutions can continue to be refined.”

“Phase 4 is not the end of the conversation,” Davis said. “Things will continue to evolve.”

When returning to face-to-face learning, students are required to wear a mask on the school bus and inside the building. Mask-down zones are determined by school faculty. Students are expected to follow hallway directional signs, avoid crowding and stay home from school if they’re not feeling well.

Should a student or employee become infected with COVID-19, the district has in place a quarantine protocol that includes contact tracing and notifying those who have been in close contact, followed by a 14-day self-quarantine.

To read the district’s Return to Campus Playbook or review the COVID-19 dashboards, visit www.henry.k12.ga.us and selection COVID-19 Data Dashboard on the left.

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