First day of school in Bibb County 2020: Same first day jitters, connecting in a new way

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- What felt like the longest summer break ever came to a virtual end today with teachers in Bibb County re-engaging with students for the first time in months. Parents have been left to adjust, juggle, and reprioritize the needs of their families based on what the day brings.

All students in Bibb County Schools are heading back to school with virtual classes.

Superintendent Curtis Jones announced on August 13th that classes would begin virtually based on COVID-19 trends. He said then that the earliest students would return to in-person classes would be beginning in November, but he added, any changes would be based on COVID-19 trends closer to that date. 

Parents have taken to the Bibb County School District’s Facebook page to share feedback on their experiences. Several have complained about technical glitches, not being able to log in to programs, and the need for better communication. On the positive side, at least one parent also noted how she logged in early to become familiar with the online platforms and another noted how her elementary school child’s teacher’s communication was helpful.

Several teachers mailed packets with information for online resources and instructions for the first day of school to help with the first day of school. The district is also using an app called Remind to connect with parents.

This year, the normal school supply shopping experience was different.  Last year, parents could be seen loading up several bags and boxes of school supplies to take to school. Parents who had several kids at a school actually rolled up to the school with red wagons, packed and overflowing with all of the essentials for the school year. This year all that was needed for some classes were just a few composition books, pencils, and crayons.  

Most teachers are still teaching from the classrooms in Bibb County. The experience has been different for them, too. Instead of the normal rush to decorate rooms, there was a rush to create virtual classrooms and lesson plans that would engage students online.

The school district created a Virtual Learning Resources page to connect parents to many of the links they’ll need to get students connected. They also have these numbers in case you need help: Technology support for parents/students- 478-765-8659; Canvas support for parents/students: 478-779-2579.