The Rutherford County School System is going through a strangely amazing time.
It's been strange because of Covid19.
It's been amazing because students, parents, teachers, support staff, administrators have all pulled together in inspiring ways.
Ritchie Garland, director of marketing and community relations for RCS, sounded like a man who had witnessed a miracle or two.
"We knew initially that we had to be extra cautious," Garland said. "We met every one of the NC Department of Health and Human Services guidelines. Facebook has contributed quite a bit to our efforts. The system has been determined from the beginning to be extremely transparent."
All the guidelines for dealing with Covid19 are on the school system's website at rcsnc.org/coronavirusinfo/.
Garland added, "We've also had guidance from the Department of Public Instruction. We've had multiple levels of guidance. We've worked hard to keep the community informed."
Of dealing with positive test results, "Anyone affected or could be affected is informed as quickly as possible." Staff members who test positive are asked to quarantine at home.
"About two dozen employees are in quarantine. We get notifications from the health department that so and so employee needs to be quarantined," Garland said.
Also on the school system's website is a symptoms flowchart.
"Our teachers in our system have been extremely resilient," he said and added that the same is true of all staff, including bus drivers and cafeteria workers. "Things have changed rapidly. Look at how much they have gone through in the past few months. Things can change on a dime, but so far they have taken it all in stride, with such positivity. They are on the front lines. I don't know that our parents understand how stressful it is because of the positivity of our employees."
"Our parents and our students have been great," he said. "I had my reservations. How in the world is a kindergartner going to handle wearing a face mask all day long? They have been absolutely outstanding in how compliant and understanding they have been. Our students' safety is of utmost importance."
With the governor's recent announcement to open up the state more, "Our board voted to give our staff and administrators an extra week (before opening to the next phase.) They have seen the work that has gone on to prove everything extremely safe," Garland said.
For more information visit the school system's website listed above.