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Safety was a top priority for Buford City Schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the school system has received confirmation from parents that their children felt safe at school during these challenging times.  

A survey sent to parents before the end of the 2020-2021 school year by Superintendent Dr. Robert Downs revealed how parents felt about how the school system’s leadership handled procedures and protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to BCS, one of the most impactful elements included in the parent feedback survey was a question about safety. When asked if they agree with the statement, “My child feels safe at school,” almost 90 percent of respondents agreed that their child felt safe at school.

The survey asked parents to give feedback about several areas that might have gone well or not well for the following aspects of the school year below are a few takeaways from the survey that show that parents had positive impressions about the school system’s actions: 

Open house adjustments/schedule 

• 1,455 responded

• 990 felt it has gone well

• 82 felt it has not gone well

• 158 said they can’t judge

• 225 saw some issues

Implementation of technology (1:1 initiative)

• 1,451 responded

• 966 felt it had gone well

• 32 felt it had not gone well

• 253 said they can’t judge 

• 200 saw some issues 

 Creative solutions for in-person activities

 • 1,456 responded

• 939 responded that it had gone well

• 50 said it had not gone well

• 188 said they can’t judge

• 279 saw some issues 

Communication provided during the COVID-19 pandemic

• 1,461 responded

• 1,154 responded that it had gone well 

• 39 said it had not gone well 

• 45 said they can’t judge

• 223 saw some issues

“We must learn from the last 18 months about how the changes we were forced to make, and those we proactively chose to make, have affected our students and their families,” Downs said.  

According to Downs, some of the protocols and scheduling adjustments worked so well last year that the school system will use them again this upcoming school year. 

“One example of something positive that the pandemic brought us was the idea of continuing to have open house by appointment each school year,” Downs said. “The individual appointments allowed the families to have undivided attention for a set amount of time with their teacher.” 

Hosting parent and community volunteers, along with reinstating “normal” rituals and routines are two important goals for the Buford City Schools’ Assistant Superintendent of Student Achievement, Dr. Amy Chafin.  

“Our school system prides itself on long-standing traditions and strong parent and community engagement, and we want nothing more than to get back to all of the things that make Buford, Buford as soon as possible,” Chafin said. “Parent and community engagement, pep rallies, homecoming parades, prom, and simply eating lunch together again in the lunchrooms will be some of the ways we will reunite our students, faculty, staff, and community. It might sound very simple, but these are the kinds of traditions and daily routines that define a school system’s culture.”

During the 2021-2022 school year, Chafin said BCS will also focus on identifying and addressing students’ social and emotional needs as well as rebuilding, redefining and reimagining instructional and operational practices that were abruptly altered as a result of the pandemic. 

Masks will be optional for students returning to class in August. 

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