September 15, 2021–8:54 p.m.
Superintendent of Rome City Schools, Louis Byars, asked the RCS School Board to add an additional two teacher in-service days for valuable planning opportunities for RCS educators and for students to recover from time lost in the classroom due to the system’s COVID-19 protocol. This decision was announced during the September RCS School Board meeting.
The additional days will be September 20 and September 27. During this time, students will be able to catch up on missed assignments and VOLT (Virtual Online Tutoring) is also an afterschool resource students can use to assist them with missed time in class.
System leadership said that this decision will help students and teachers across the system. “Because our students have been having lunch in the classrooms, our teachers have been using their planning period to cover other classes as a result,” Byars explained to the RCS School Board.“We want to give them an opportunity to plan their lessons and give our students an opportunity to catch up on any lost class time due to being quarantined.”
Rome City Schools will remain in phase two of their COVID-19 plan until fall break. School administrators will review the numbers after the fall break and assess if the system can safely return to phase one.
“We are seeing the mitigation plan we have in place helping to decrease the COVID numbers in some of our schools,” Byars said. “Currently, there are no plans to move to phase three at this time. We have looked at the pros and cons of virtual learning. By allowing our students to attend in person classes, we know that they are taking the proper precautions and wearing masks.”
Byars also mentioned the potential for more strain on our healthcare facilities, a part of the team tasked with fighting COVID that is already inundated with critically ill patients. If students are at home, some of our healthcare professionals will not be able to go to work.
As an additional note, Byars wanted to remind the RCS community that COVID-19 vaccinations are administered through the RCS school system free of charge during designated COVID-19 vaccination events. The goal of the system is to continue to provide ways for students to continue to be educated in person and to do so while being safe as possible.