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Big Bend, South Georgia districts keep 6-feet distance despite new CDC guidelines

Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 17:13:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Shorter social distancing requirements could mean more kids in the classroom and fewer teachers doing hybrid classes.

"We will not change our practice because we have taken every effort we could to keep our school buildings open and to keep students in school," says Lowndes County Schools director of Student Support Services Sandra Wilcher.

Wilcher says Lowndes County Schools will not move desks closer together. New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control recommend students being three feet apart. The Student Support Services Director explains, while the guidelines for social distancing have changed, the rules for requiring quarantine are still the same.

"If putting them closer together means more students quarantine if someone has a positive COVID test, then that is not necessarily going to help us," Wilcher says.

Leon County Schools is also choosing to keep six feet of distance, according to the Safe Start Plan.

"We've had a lot of success with we believe with what has been instituted here in Leon County so no there will not be any changes," says Chief of Safety and Security John Hunkiar.

Members of the Leon Classroom Teacher's Association say they're already seeing more students in the classroom as the district transitions back to in-person lessons, adding, they're more concerned about proper PPE and cleaning.

"When it comes down to the CDC guidelines the most important thing for us is maintaining the health and safety of everybody and that we're maintaining the mask policy that's in place and the cleaning procedures that are in place to mitigate any positive cases," says Scott Mazur, Leon Classroom Teacher's Association president.

The new three-foot distance applies to all elementary schools. Middle and High Schools in areas of high community spread should remain at least six feet apart unless they move together with an assigned peer group during the school day.