- Butts County School System
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Long-time Board of Education Member, Ernest Battle, passes awayPosted by Butts County School System on 1/27/2021
It is with great sorrow that the Butts County School System informs our community that long-time Board of Education member, Mr. Ernest Battle, passed away on January 26, 2021. Mr. Battle was a tireless advocate for our community who gave endless energy and time to the school district, including 29 consecutive years on the Board of Education.
“Mr. Battle was a tremendous community servant and a tireless supporter of all things BCSS. Our school system would not be what it is today without Mr. Battle’s service and his commitment to improving education for our students,” said Dr. Todd Simpson, Superintendent.
Mr. Battle was a 1956 graduate of Henderson High School in Butts County where he was a member of the original Tigers football team. He earned the first athletic scholarship offered to a Henderson High graduate. Mr. Battle served in the United States Army and then worked for the General Motors Company until he retired from the corporation. Mr. Battle began his service on the Board of Education in 1986 and continued to serve until 2014. He served as Chairman of the Board for 23 years. Under his leadership, the Board of Education was named a Quality Board by the Georgia School Board Association in 2013 and a Distinguished Board in 2014.
In 2011, the Butts County Board of Education dedicated the Ernest Battle Professional Development Center in Mr. Battle’s honor. This center houses district level offices, student registration, and professional learning spaces for ongoing trainings and meetings for faculty and the community.
Mr. Battle led our faculty, staff, community, and students with love, fairness, and a commitment to what is best for children. He was a true public servant who remained focused on providing the best education possible for our students. He will be greatly missed.
Face-to-Face Option Resumes January 19thPosted by Butts County School System on 1/14/2021
I am writing to inform you that it remains our intent to resume the option of offering in-person learning for students on Tuesday, January 19.
As you know, our community has experienced an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases since late November. As predicted, holiday gatherings, activities, and travel seem to be the leading cause of increased transmission levels in most communities. As a result, we have sought the guidance of public health officials to assist us with analyzing not only our community data, but our school system data as well.
Each week we report staff and student Covid-19 data to the Department of Health. The analysis of our data over the past 6 months has shown that the transmission of Covid-19 in our classroom settings has been minimal. Our protocols of maintaining distance when feasible, wearing a face covering, practicing good hygiene, and avoiding unnecessary risk have all been extremely helpful in ensuring minimal transmission of not only Covid-19, but other viruses as well. Thus going forward, it will be vitally important for us all to adhere to these best practices. Face coverings will be expected to be worn at all times by students and staff as we resume in-person learning.
We will continue to carefully monitor transmission levels within our community and how it impacts our school system. As we have indicated throughout the school year, it remains necessary for families to have plans in place should we need to alter our operations.
We understand that some families will be anxious about students returning to campus. We will continue to offer a virtual option for those families who would like the opportunity. If you were planning to return to campus for the second semester and would instead prefer for your child to continue with virtual learning, please contact your child’s Principal.
We appreciate your support during this incredibly unique time. The last nine months have certainly provided for a long and challenging road for all of us. I am confident better days are near! Let’s continue to do all that we can to support one another to ensure student success.
Dr. Todd Simpson
BCSS to start second semester virtually.Posted by Butts County School System on 1/4/2021
As we plan to welcome students back to campus to begin our second semester, we have carefully analyzed the local Covid 19 transmission data and consulted with local and state officials to guide our decision.
As I am sure you know, it has been widely publicized that Covid-19 cases have increased across the nation in the past two weeks. I am sure that many of you have had friends or family members who have been sick or impacted by the virus in some way. I know some of you may be feeling some anxiety as we prepare to return to campus for the second semester. Please know that our district leadership is working very closely with our local health officials to analyze and dig into the data that is most relevant to our county. In addition, we are reviewing our own school system data from reports of positive cases over the break for both students and staff.
Due to the number of BCSS staff members needing to satisfy quarantine recommendations, the Butts County School System will resume classes on January 7, 2021 in an all virtual setting. All students will participate in virtual learning only through Friday, January 15, 2021. At this time, we are planning to resume face-to-face instruction and a return to campus on Tuesday, January 19th after the Martin Luther King holiday.
Staff members will report to campus as scheduled on January 5, 2021.
Your child’s school will be reaching out in the coming days with further information on virtual assignments, chromebook checkout, and at home learning packets. In addition, information regarding meal services will be sent out via email.
Please know that the decision to modify the start of our second semester was not taken lightly. We wanted to make this important decision with the most current data available. Careful consideration was given toward the staff available to serve students, the increase in positive cases in our county at this time and ensuring the utmost safety during this transition from the holiday season back to normal operations.
It is imperative that we continue to work together to ensure we can preserve the opportunity to provide face-to-face learning. We ask all students, staff, and families to continue to follow the four cornerstones of sustainability: wear a face covering, practice social distancing, use good hygiene, and avoid unnecessary risk.
In addition, we ask that students remain at home if they are sick. Furthermore, if you are made aware that your student or family has been exposed to a positive case of Covid-19, we ask that your student remain at home and follow current quarantine guidance from our health department. Please be sure to contact your child’s school for guidance on clearance to return to campus if your child is experiencing symptoms or has been directly exposed to a positive case. It is our sincere belief and hope that following this guidance will help us keep our schools open for in-person learning.
As always, the health and safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance. Please continue to check our website for the most up-to-date information.
Dr. Todd Simpson
The Butts County School System will operate on a two-hour delay Thursday, October 29th.Posted by Butts County School System on 10/28/2020
Tropical Storm Zeta is forecasted to bring high winds and heavy rain to our area overnight Wednesday and into the early morning hours on Thursday. The potential exists for wind gusts of up to 40 mph in the early morning hours on Thursday, which would make it unsafe to operate large vehicles such as school buses. In addition, the potential for downed powerlines and trees can cause hazardous travel conditions for our students and staff.
Provided it is safe to do so, we will plan to start school at 9:50 AM for all elementary students and 10:10 AM for middle and high school students.
Bus routes will run two hours later than the normal schedule. For example, if your student is normally picked up at 7:00 AM, they would be picked up at 9:00 AM. Dismissal times and afternoon bus routes will proceed as normal.
The PSAT scheduled for tomorrow at JHS will be postponed and a makeup date will be communicated in the coming days.
As always, the safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance. We encourage everyone to be weather aware this evening and tomorrow morning. If circumstances change or conditions worsen, we will provide updates through Infinite Campus Messenger, Local media, Social Media, and the BCSS webpage.
Jackson High School Transitioning to Virtual Learning for All StudentsPosted by Butts County School System on 9/23/2020
All students at Jackson High School will transition to virtual learning for the next ten school days effective at the end of classes tomorrow, September 24, 2020. Friday, September 25 - Thursday, October 8 will be virtual learning days for all JHS students. In-person learning will resume on Wednesday, October 14. This decision only impacts Jackson High School. All other schools in the Butts County School System will continue to operate as currently scheduled.
As of this morning, 88 students and 9 staff are under quarantine at Jackson High School. In addition, many students and staff are awaiting test results and, should the pending tests prove positive, the total could significantly increase. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain adequate staffing on campus. A temporary transition to all virtual learning will allow our teachers to focus on one delivery model while also limiting the potential for continued transmission. Additionally, we will use this time to thoroughly disinfect all of our facilities at JHS.
Since our offering of a face-to-face option, our dedicated teachers and staff have been working incredibly hard to ensure we can continue to offer this option for our families. Our school nurses and health care workers are unsung heroes in their work to contact-trace and identify quarantine needs, while still providing daily healthcare services to our students. We anticipate, as we have communicated throughout this process, there may be additional quarantines and temporary school closures as we operate during this pandemic. We will continue to ensure transparency in reporting current Covid-19 data and by providing relevant notifications to our families.
It is imperative that we continue to work together to ensure we can preserve the opportunity to provide face-to-face learning. We ask all students, staff, and families to continue to follow the four cornerstones of sustainability: wear a face covering, practice social distancing, use good hygiene, and avoid unnecessary risk. In addition, we ask that students remain at home if they are sick. It is our sincere belief and hope that following this guidance will help us keep our schools open for in-person learning.
Suspension of Jackson High School Varsity FootballPosted by Butts County School System on 9/22/2020
On Monday, September 21, 2020, the Butts County School System was notified that a member of the Varsity Football Coaching staff tested positive for Covid-19. Immediately upon receiving this information, all varsity football team activities were suspended while the district consulted with the Department of Health and worked to determine direct contact among coaching staff or players.
On Tuesday, September 22, 2020 the district was notified that additional coaching staff members tested positive for Covid-19. Additionally, there are at least two players who have presented with symptoms related to Covid-19.
Therefore, it will be necessary to suspend all Varsity Football team activities until further notice. All team members, including students and staff, will be required to quarantine in accordance with the Department of Health guidelines.
Incident on Butts County School BusPosted by Butts County School System on 9/22/2020
In the late evening on Monday, September 21, the administration at Jackson High School was alerted to a photo that was posted on social media of an individual in possession of a handgun while on a school bus. It was alleged that the individual was a current JHS student and that the photo was taken on the bus on Monday afternoon. School district administration contacted the Butts County Sheriff's Office and began investigating the incident immediately.
Throughout the evening and overnight, the school district administrative team worked in collaboration with the Butts County Sheriff's office to identify and detain the individual responsible. The weapon has been recovered by the Butts County Sheriff's Office. No student or staff member was threatened with the firearm, and there was no incident of violence on our campus or on the school bus on Monday. We appreciate the cooperation and assistance of the Butts County Sheriff's Office as they continue to investigate this situation.
We are proud of the actions of a JHS student for sharing this information with a JHS staff member. This is an example of the training protocols we share with not only our staff members, but our students. The student's actions illustrate our message to our great kids that safety is all of our responsibility, and if you "See Something, Say Something."
While we understand this will be concerning to our parents, we want all stakeholders to know that we do not tolerate such contraband on our campuses, and we will prosecute the student to the fullest extent of the law. The student is currently in custody, and will not return to our campus.