With exactly two weeks to go before Limestone County Schools (LCS) starts teaching students again, parents and educators received some new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.
LSC parents had to decide earlier this month whether they wanted to choose the virtual academy or not so that the school system could start putting the right staff in place.
However, for Morgan Whitt, as long as there was a choice to have her son, Walker, in a physical classroom at Cedar Hill Elementary School, that was always what she wanted.
"The school that he's in and the staff that's taking care of him every day is going to keep him as safe as possible," Whitt said.
Part of the new CDC guidelines was a data that stated that "As of July 21, 2020, 6.6% of reported COVID-19 cases and <0.1% of COVID-19-related deaths are among children and adolescents less than 18 years of age in the United States."
Whitt said she's not only thinking about the impact of the virus, but also how her son learns. She said Walker is a special needs student who needs to work with his teachers in person. That lesson was one she really learned over the spring when all schools shut down.
"It's really hard to realize you children need something and it's something that you can't do for them," Whitt said. "I know that God made him the way he is for a reason and he gave him to me for a reason. But teaching him in the way that he needs to be taught is just something that I don't have the skill for."
Superintendent Dr. Randy Shearouse is currently in North Carolina for a meeting of superintendents from across the United States. He said being able to share ideas and experiences with other educators will be helpful when he returns to Limestone County on Sunday.
"It's just reassuring to know that we're all trying to do the best for our students and do the best for our teachers and make sure that we can return to school safely and securely," Dr. Shearouse said.
He said right now, he and his team are looking through the updated CDC recommendations and will discuss their plan further with the Limestone County Board of Education during the board meeting on Tuesday.
Dr. Shearouse said they will be closely watching how things go between the start of school on August 7 and Labor Day.
"Maybe we can loosen some things after that first month or we may have to tighten things up at that point," Dr. Shearouse said. "But we felt like we needed to have a goal because we have a lot of students that are really ready to get back to school and teachers who are ready to get back to school. And we have a lot of parents who depend on us to take care of their children."
Back at Cedar Hill, Whitt said she's confident that the school will take all of the necessary steps to keep her son along with the rest of the students and staff safe once classes begin again.
"They clean and sanitize when there's not a pandemic. So now, they're absolutely going to make extra sure that everything is clean and separate so the kids can be here as much as possible," Whitt said.
For more on the CDC recommendations for parents and educators, click here.