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COVID numbers lead to online schooling: District to offer vaccinations to eligible students

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 Carter County public schools went to non-traditional instruction (NTI) this week, sending a message out to parents instructing them that students would be working from home through at least Friday. 

“Collaborating with the Carter County Health Department, due to the increased number of students with COVID and in quarantine, Carter County Schools will use five non-traditional instruction days next week, August 30 – September 3,” the message read. 

The message, which parents received last Friday, told them if their children were in school they would receive assignments and instructions from their teachers. If their children were not in school on Friday, parents were instructed to contact their schools to make arrangements for picking up the assignments. If parents or students had any questions about their work, they could reach out to teachers for clarification.

“Teachers,” the recording said, “will be available to assist students during school hours.” 

The district also canceled all extracurricular activities scheduled for this week. 

They are taking steps to help return schools to normal instruction, however. This includes offering vaccinations and regular COVID testing to staff and students. 

Kings Daughters Medical Center are administering doses of the vaccine at East and West Carter High Schools today. They will start at West Carter in the morning, and finish up in the afternoon at East. 

This is their second clinic in the district, following up their August 4 clinic and providing second doses to individuals vaccinated at that time. They will also be administering the first dose of vaccine to employees and students who wish to receive it. 

In order for students to be vaccinated they must be at least 12 years of age and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to give consent. 

The district will also be providing regular weekly COVID-19 testing for all K-12 students who signed up for the program. Beginning after Labor Day, staff and students enrolled in the program will be tested for the virus on a weekly basis by Ethos Labs. Those who are interested in still registering for the COVID testing program can find more information, and a link to register, on the school district’s website at http://www.cartercountyschools.org. 

Those who register for the program may opt-out at any time. 

The district also made arrangements for parents to pick up meals to be prepared at home. Parents who wanted to participate had to contact their children’s schools by Monday, and could arrange to pick up all meals at one location if they had children at different schools. Those meals are available to pick up tomorrow (Thursday, September 2). 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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