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Finish Strong initiative brings students back to the classroom

Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 18:20:14-05

THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — Despite concerns about the potential for community spread, parents in Thomas County are on board with the district's plan to Finish Strong.

"I think the benefit definitely outweighs the risk," says Thomas County Parent Chansidy Daniels.

Parents like Daniels say Thomas County School's Finish Strong Program is a step in the right direction. Its goal is to keep all students on track. Right now, 26-percent of students who are failing two or more classes in their digital learning program is now required to return to classrooms.

"There's a lot of benefit to being in a traditional classroom setting for students ... both socially and psychologically," said Daniels.

It will also reduce the number of teachers splitting their attention between in-person and digital learning, which some feel is necessary for everyone in the classroom.

"I think that we will definitely see a difference because it's not only the children struggling remotely but there are children maybe in person because these teachers, they are being stretched," said parent Jessica Jones.

The district has also approved dedicated summer school classes to make sure all students start next school year right on track.

"We will do assessments to determine where they are 'academically,'" said Thomas County Superintendent Dr. Lisa Williams. "And they know grade-wise what's turned in and what's happened so they can kind of see what standards they may be missing in the curriculum, and they will do a good job of helping those students fill in the gaps."

Williams says the district is working diligently to ensure proper social distancing for the increase of students.

They'll use next Monday and Tuesday as planning days for teachers to further prepare.