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In the Midst of a Pandemic, TCHS Celebrates Highest Graduation Rate in History of the School

Toombs County School Superintendent Barry Waller observed that 2020 has undoubtedly been of the most challenging years in the history of the School System.

“The COVID crisis caused an unprecedented shut down of our schools and we were left making decisions to try to accommodate our students who were also dealing with the uncertainty of not returning to school for the quarter of the school year.”

But in the midst of a major health pandemic, the school system has been able to celebrate news of the highest graduation rate in school history at Toombs County High School of 95.1%. “This accomplishment eclipses the state of Georgia graduation rate for the fourth consecutive year. This celebration in the midst of our challenges serves as validation of our teachers continued hard work and dedication to our students’ future.” During the pandemic, teachers, administrators and other staff joined in to assist in the distribution and development of virtual learning content, drive-through/pick-up packets and mobile meal delivery sites for the last eight weeks of the school year. “These challenges were met by our school system staff by working exhaustively to meet our student’s needs,” Waller said. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of all was trying to help the graduating class of 2020 experience a fitting tribute to the completion of their years of school with a graduation. “Thankfully, through careful planning and a commitment from our board of education and school system staff, we were able to have a limited seating graduation for the class of 2020 at ‘The Pit’ on Saturday, July 18, and gain closure on their senior year of high school for our graduating class.

Throughout the summer, school and system staff worked diligently to start school safely with face to face instruction as well as to provide a “virtual learning” option for students who would choose to remain at home while the COVID crisis continues. “Our system was able to use guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Department of Public Health and develop a plan to safely start school on time.”

“During the first half of this school year, we are thankful our schools have remained open and we have been able to return to our focus of student learning and achievement while keeping our staff and students safe with enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures, morning temperature checks, and thorough communications with our local health department in reporting positive COVID cases and quarantines,” Waller commented.

“The first half of this school year has looked different from any other year with the enhanced safety measures in place, however, our teachers and staff met the challenge by providing a safe and nurturing environment for our students to learn effectively.”

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