North Paulding High School to reopen Monday under new protocols

PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. — North Paulding High School will reopen Monday after closing down due to several students and staff testing positive for coronavirus.

NPHS got national attention last week after photos circulated online of jam-packed hallways and few students wearing masks.

Later that week, three staff members and six students tested positive for the coronavirus. All nine of those people were at school for at least a few days last week.

School official said they now have at least 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The school shut down to disinfect starting Monday. Originally, officials planned to only close the high school for two days, but later extended the closure to the whole week.

“Obviously, the rate of COVID-19 spread is a concern that will require us to adapt our plan for in-person instruction to protect the health and safety of our students and staff,” school officials said in a letter to parents Wednesday.

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Officials said that when school restarts on Monday, in-person instruction will move to a hybrid schedule that combines in-person instruction with digital learning.

Students will also be divided into two groups depending on their last names (A - K and L - Z). Each group will spend two days on campus and three days learning online at home. Students with last names starting with A - K will be on campus Monday and Wednesday and students with last names starting from L - Z will be on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Officials will also stagger hallway transition times so that even-numbered classrooms will exit two minutes earlier. Dismissal times will also be staggered.

Extra-curricular athletics and band will continue.

Officials said that will reduce the number of students on campus by half, reduce hallway congestion and help mitigate other challenge.

“Before the school year began, we shared that this would be a school year unlike any other, and that there would be challenges ahead that would require us to adjust, adapt, and be flexible,” officials said. “We knew that would be especially true at NPHS, the largest high school in Paulding County with more than 2,000 students and staff on campus at any given time.”

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