SCCPSS students return to school Wednesday

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 5:01 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Tens of Thousands of students in Chatham County are heading back to school Wednesday.

And there are some changes parents and students need to know about before heading out the door.

The district has pushed back bell times for some schools and prioritized certain students for transportation.

Godley Station K-8 will now start 45 minutes earlier at 7:30 a.m. New Hampstead K-8 and Rice Creek K-8 bell times were pushed back to 8:40 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. respectively.

All elementary schools are now on a singular bell time, now starting at 9:15 a.m.

Dropping your child off for their first day school can be exciting but don’t forget there are multiple school zones with speed cameras. Here on the Islands is actually where police see the most speeders.

There are speed cameras at Georgetown, May Howard and Marshpoint Elementary Schools, as well as Coastal Middle School and St. Andrew’s School.

The speed cameras run an hour before school starts and an hour after school ends.

They issued 24,000 tickets with a fine last year. The first fine is $100 and each one after that is $150. Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley says the problem area is near Coastal Middle School.

“Where we get the most citations is on Whitemarsh in front of Whitemarsh plaza just passed Islands Expressway going westbound towards Thunderbolt. That’s only 2.3 miles that school zone but we continue to see numerous violators,” said Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley.

You only get a ticket if you’re going 11 miles over, Chief Hadley says you’ll only be saving 15 to 20 seconds by going that far over and it’s just not worth it.

There will be kids on foot and on bikes in these school zones, so remember safety first.

COVID protocols

On top of these changes, the school district is still battling the pandemic. Kids are once again returning to in-person learning, but the district does still have protocols in place for the ongoing pandemic.

COVID is still here for the third school year in a row and for the second year in a row, kids will start 100 percent in person. But there are some other things that have changed with COVID since the first day last year.

Some of the factors that district nurses think will help are that vaccines are now available to all school aged children and at home tests are easily available to parents, students and staff.

Throughout the school year, the district will track the numbers of cases but they will follow the same guidelines for quarantine after a positive test and isolation after exposure, like they did to end the school year last year.

Savannah-Chatham Public School System has a full staff of nurses to start off the school year and say they are ready for whatever COVID decides to do next.

“I’m very excited, it’s unfortunate that COVID is still with us, we were all hoping it would go away but we are excited to be entering the school year with open schools, I also am encouraged the hospitalizations seem to be low so even though we do have COVID with us, it is not as severe, we still need to be ready and vigilant,” said Interim District Cluster Nurse Victoria Stewart.

Remember parents, if you are at all confused about what to do with quarantine or isolations, the district has created a flow chart which says what are the next steps to take incase of a positive test or exposure to COVID. Of course, if they aren’t feeling well, they ask that you stay home.

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