When the Habersham County School System students and teachers return to school Sept. 8, it will have been six months since they have been in a traditional school environment. Granted, 14% of the student body chose virtual learning, but the great majority chose face-to face instruction. Not in recent history have any students been away from school for this amount of time. If you have children, grandchildren, family or friends going back to school, you completely understand the raw emotions flowing in this large segment of our community.
Frankly, nothing is more important than the safety and education of our children. They are our greatest resource and treasure. They are the future of Habersham County.
The beginning of each school year marks milestones in each student’s life. Whether it is the first day of kindergarten, the first day of middle school, the first day of high school or the first day of a senior year, lifelong memories are being made. However, this school year will have the extra twist of all these milestone memories being made during a pandemic.
School traffic will also resume next Tuesday. This means school buses will return to weekday routes twice a day along with student drivers and first-time drivers. Coming off the extended holiday weekend, we need to remember to plan for extra time to get to work and run errands.
All of us have learned more than we ever wanted to about how to push forward with our lives during a pandemic. Together, we have come so far and locally our numbers, on average, are coming down on a two-week trend. However, after six months of living in this crisis there is a great chance all of us have a personal connection to someone who has been severely sick or died of COVID-19. It is not time to let our guard down.
As we celebrate our Raiders charging out on the football field under Friday night lights and the Labor Day weekend, let’s remember all we have learned to get us this far out of the lockdown we all experienced in March and April. We owe it to the students, teachers, administrators and their families. It is not time to let our guard down.
Here’s to a great school in Habersham County as our community state, country and world fight to get to the other side and make COVID-19 a distant memory.
Onward and upward.