COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton school officials announced they have extended remote learning for all students another week due to rising rates of COVID-19 transmission in the county.
"As promised, district officials have reviewed the COVID-19 data for Newton County and also consulted this week with local medical professionals representing both the Gwinnett/Newton/Rockdale Health Department and Piedmont Newton Hospital," a news release stated. "Unfortunately, the transmission of COVID-19 virus has significantly increased in our community over the past seven days. As a result, we will continue our remote learning structure again next week."
All students will utilize online learning or pre-developed work assignments through Jan. 22. Students working in-person at their schools will now report for classes on Jan. 25.
The school system is closed on Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
"As stated previously, this is a short-term solution to aid in the reduction of the transmission of the virus in our schools and community," the news release stated.
Throughout the month of January, district leaders will review the COVID-19 data in five-day increments to determine the best course of action. The school system will announce the next week’s mode of instruction each Wednesday at 7 p.m. by School Messenger calls. The district will continue this procedure until the COVID-19 numbers significantly reduce to the point that a return to in-person instruction is safe, the release stated.
While remote learning is in process, parents of regular in-person students can obtain free breakfast and lunch meals daily from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the nearest school or pick up meals from one of the school system's designated bus stop delivery locations.
Visit http://newtonschoolnutrition.org/index.php?sid=0702132359289201&page=MealRoutes for more information.
To enhance their distribution of free meals, the NCSS School Nutrition Department will also deliver daily meals, including weekend meals on Fridays, to the following temporary bus delivery locations: Arbor Lake Apartments, Cedar Grove Community, Covington Estates, Five Oaks Subdivision, Jamestown, Long Branch Subdivision, Salem Springs, Twin Chimneys Subdivision, Wagon Train, and Wells Mobile Home Park. Delivery times may be found by visiting https://newtoncountyschools.org/departments/public_relations/news/n_c_s_s_meal_delivery_updates.
In addition to daily meals, NCSS School Nutrition department is also providing weekly meal boxes for pickup at the following school distribution sites: Live Oak Elementary, Heard-Mixon Elementary, West Newton Elementary, Middle Ridge Elementary, and Oak Hill Elementary.
The NCSS Food Bus will also stop at select locations throughout the county to distribute weekly meals. These locations include Publix and Bells Grocery located on Brown Bridge Road, and Burger King, Food Depot, and Kroger on U.S. Highway 278. Days and distribution times may be found by visiting https://newtoncountyschools.org/departments/public_relations/news/n_c_s_s_meal_delivery_updates.
Current virtual learning students may continue to obtain free meals at their regular bus stop drop off site, the release stated.
"We realize that in-person instruction is the most beneficial method of instruction for most of our students, and we look forward to getting our students back into our buildings. However, the health and safety of the children and staff must continue to be our No. 1 priority.
"Our goal is to return to in-person instruction as quickly as possible. It is important to note, that our ability to return to in-person instruction is directly connected to what is happening in our community with regard to COVID-19.
"Each of us plays an important role in stopping the transmission of the virus in our community. Please wear a mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick."
In addition to the district calls, school principals will also utilize School Messenger to provide parents with school-specific information as necessary. Parents with questions or concerns should contact their school administrator for additional details.