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School officials work to secure daycare, food for students ahead of two week closure

Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 18:18:50-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — With the spread of the coronavirus showing no signs of slowing down, schools across the area are shutting their doors to keep students and staff safe.

Valdosta City Schools is closing after Friday, and won't reopen until March 27. During the break, each school will get a deep cleaning, in hopes that the threat of the virus is gone by the time that the children return.

Many parents say that even though finding an alternative for child care is a hassle, at least Valdosta City Schools is prioritizing safety.

"Of course you're going to feel like 'Aww man, I hope my kid doesn't get sick,'" said Desiree Watkins, parent of a Valdosta school student. "I'm not ecstatic about it, but I feel like it's for the best."

Watkins says she's lucky to have available family members.

"I have a great support system," Watkins said. "She goes with her grandma."

But other parents are now worried about where their children will go while they're at work.

"We know it's difficult for parents, and we sympathize with them," said Valdosta City Schools superintendent, William Cason. "But right now, we felt that it would be in everyone's best interest to close schools."

"I don't feel like it's a bad idea," Watkins said. "I feel like they're doing the right thing."

Cason says they're working with daycares now to try to coordinate care for younger children. The school has already established a partnership with Second Harvest to make sure students are fed.

The student's won't have any e-learning or distance learning, but the Superintendent says he hopes the children will keep up with their school work in that time.

The district won't be expected to make up any of the days missed due to COVID-19.

Valdosta City Schools will continue to meet during the time off and work on providing other types of assistance.