Gov. Kemp still deciding whether or not to keep schools closed for rest of year

The state is talking with people around Georgia to see the best way to continue the rest of the school year.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp could decide before the end of the week whether to extend his executive order closing all of Georgia’s public schools once it expires March 31.

Kemp told Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot on Tuesday that he was meeting with state School Superintendent Richard Woods, along with superintendents with local school districts, to formulate a plan to move forward while protecting children, their families and school educators from the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re in communication with them to try and pick the best path forward that will be good and the least disruptive for everybody,” Kemp said.

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Woods said they are talking with people around the state to see the best way to continue the rest of the school year.

“The Department of Education has been hard at work every day just to keep things going as much as we can, but we are kind of anticipating to see where we’re going to be past the March 31 deadline and see what school will look like for us for the foreseeable future,” Wood said. “We’re being very flexible as we can see. I’m being hopeful, but we have to look at keeping our kids and faculty and community safe. That’s the first priority.”

Hall County schools will remain closed until April 6, when the district will go into the previously scheduled spring break. School spokesperson Stan Lewis said the district will reevaluate what will happen after that.

“It’s an ever-evolving situation, and it changes rapidly, sometimes by the hour,” Lewis said. “Of course, we’ll go off the guidance from the governor, state Department of Education, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and local health officials in making that determination.”

Meanwhile, Lewis said the district has so far prepared more than 90,000 meals for students at home and used school buses to deliver them.

He also said the district opened up its school science and health care science program storage and donated 5,000 masks, 500 person protection equipment kits, 830 gowns and 15,000 gloves to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center.