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With some adaptions and changes, the Robertson County School system has been able to continue educating local students during the pandemic. FILE

Director of Robertson County Schools Dr. Chris Causey recently gave an updated timeline of how the district has moved forward since the beginning of the pandemic.

For the district’s response to the coronavirus, the first operation completed was surveying the community, as well as the faculty and staff of schools.

For the survey, 8,000 students were represented – 90 percent of students had access to the Internet. Devices available included 61 percent on laptops, 53 percent on tablets and 85 percent on cellphones.

Regarding preference for returning to school – 50 percent preferred a normal schedule, 20 percent said they would prefer a portion of the week, 15 percent would preferred virtual, 13 percent said they would prefer in-person/virtual combo, 12 percent were unsure, 9 percent said they would prefer their child to attend school portion of the day and 8 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer other options.

Takeaways include the fact that a majority of the district wanted a full schedule of school, or a hybrid of in-person school and online instruction. Enough of the community wanted a full online option to warrant a plan for those students. The survey also revealed that there were internet access gaps in certain school zones.

However, Robertson County Schools did provide technology - 615 laptops were issued, a new helpdesk line and remote software was created and Microsoft TEAMS helped both virtual and in-school option learners. 

During the pandemic, nutrition has become even more significant. Therefore, free breakfast and lunch for all students through June 2021 will be provided.

There will also be a Fresh Food and Vegetable Program. Founded with $96,000, this program will provide additional fresh fruit and vegetables to be served in addition to items served during breakfast and lunch. This program will be prominent in Cheatham Park, Crestview, Krisle, Westside and Bransford elementary schools.

During this process, many grants have begun. Grants include family collective - $505,880 dollars, Emergency Food and Shelter Program - $18,774, Family Resource Center - $29, 611 and Coordinated School Health - $101,000.

Instructional grants include You Science - $11,000, Economic Development Board, Books & Literacy materials for homes $14,000, and $112,000 towards a welding lab.

In addition, the district said grant money has been used efficiently, the school system has partnered with other districts and collaborated with health officials. 

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