How Southeast Georgia schools are handling distance learning

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered all public schools and colleges closed for the rest of the month in response to the outbreak of COVID-19

Teachers in Glynn County made YouTube videos to help students learn while campuses remain closed during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Teachers in Glynn County made YouTube videos to help students learn while campuses remain closed during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Facebook)

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. – Just like many other students across the country, when students in Southeast Georgia woke up for school Wednesday, they didn’t have to leave the house.

After Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered all public schools and colleges closed for the rest of the month in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, school districts implemented distance and online learning.

Here’s a breakdown for what that looks like for school districts in Ware, Camden, Glynn and Charlton counties.

Camden County

Students started distance learning Wednesday after all schools and school buildings closed until further notice. The school closures include all school building activities, athletics/sports, extracurricular school activities and trips.

“While our school buildings will be closed, the education process will not stop,” the district said. “All staff will work remotely to best support students, including delivering digital and physical instructional resources to students while they are at home.”

According to the district website, teachers will be available by email to answer questions and provide student support. Some teachers and students will utilize Google Meet to video conference with students. Teachers who choose this option will contact students with details.

The district will also have a phone line available for support. Tech support for students and staff will be available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 12 p.m. via the following three methods:

  • Teachers can submit a SchoolDude in the usual manner any time of the day and we will call them back ASAP. Please be sure to leave us a current phone number.
  • Teachers can request a remote control/chat session by going to between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • Teachers and students can call (912) 729-8394 for live support between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. We will not be able to assist students with problems related to their home computer, but can assist with Google account issues and problems with school-owned Chromebooks.

The district asked parents to contact their child’s teacher with concerns about internet access. The district said it is working with our school social workers for outreach to students who may have no internet or limited access.

For more answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Camden County School’s website.

Glynn County

Distance and online learning started Wednesday for students in Glynn County and will continue through April 3. All district extracurricular activities, field trips, assemblies and sporting events will be canceled until further notice. Classes will tentatively resume April 13 after spring break. The district made the decision to remain open Monday to allow students to receive assignments and additional instructions to ensure a smooth transition for distance and/or online learning.

In response to the shutdown, some teachers made YouTube videos for their students.

We love, love, LOVE how creative our teachers are in finding interesting ways to teach their students. For example,...

Posted by Glynn County Public Schools on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Some elementary schools in the district had printed materials prepared by grade level for students to take home additional resources and assignments during the school closure.

For more information, visit the school district website or its Facebook page.

Ware County

All Ware County Schools were in session Monday and closed on Tuesday. The district will remain closed through spring break which ends April 10.

“We understand the impact of this decision on our community and have chosen this option to provide our families time to prepare for the extended closure,” the district said.

The superintendent plans to meet with school board members on April 9 to reassess the situation and determine whether or not the district will reopen on April 13.

Until then, students will continue to do their school work remotely both online and with work packets. Work packets were distributed both in-person and online, but the district is telling parents the work is not mandatory.

Parents were encouraged to use ABCmouse, Adventure Academy or ReadingIQ with students in Pre-K through 8th grade while away from school during the extended break.

“This is a fluid situation with new information changing our response on a day-to-day basis. We will continue to use our call-out system, Facebook, and school and system websites to share the latest information. I strongly encourage you to institute social distancing and continue using recommended hygiene practices. Thank you,” Superintendent Bert Smith said in a statement.

The district is providing updates on its Facebook page.

Charlton County

Charlton County Schools Superintendent John D. Lairsey issued a statement to parents Sunday that read in part:

The district posted online resources for students and their families on Monday adding that participation is optional at this time.

The district said it will continue to update its website with the latest information.

Statewide measures

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues and many public schools are closed to ensure the safety of students and staff, State School Superintendent Richard Woods suspended the following until further notice:

​State assessment window/administration (including Georgia Milestones EOGs and EOCs, the Georgia Alternate Assessment/GAA 2.0, and all other required testing

Teacher and leader evaluation (TKES/LKES) requirements and reporting

State-level attendance-related consequences (including CCRPI, TKES/LKES, School Climate Star Rating, and make-up day requirements)

“Right now, schools’ focus needs to be on the safety of their students and staff,” Superintendent Woods said. “The focus should be first and foremost on health and safety, then on flexible and creative ways to keep learning and growing. It’s common sense: testing and accountability requirements should not place an additional burden on students, parents, and educators during this time, and they will not in Georgia.”

At the State Board of Education meeting on March 27 (which will be conducted via teleconference), Superintendent Woods will recommend the approval of a package of waivers, including suspension of the 20% course grade requirement for the Georgia Milestones EOC.

About the Authors: