Barrow County moves to all-virtual instruction after 90 staff members forced to quarantine

BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — Barrow County Schools announced Wednesday night that the school year will start with all distance learning, despite earlier plans of allowing both a virtual and in-person option.

The year will start August 17.

"Although the district had planned to begin with both in-person and distance learning, the current COVID-19 situation required a change in those plans," officials said in a statement.

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According to the superintendent, although every precaution was taken during a teacher preplanning session and all teachers wear masks, over 90 staff members have had to quarantine due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, a suspected case or direct contact with a confirmed case -- all before students returned to the buildings.

Officials say more information will be shared Friday.

“It was our sincere desire to welcome students back into schools for in-person learning. We know that students learn best inside a traditional classroom,” Superintendent Chris McMichael said. “We are attempting to make that happen while keeping student and staff safety at the forefront.”

The district said it will present a phased approach to brings students back into the classroom as soon as possible.