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Brookhaven schools head reflects on start of new semester

The Brookhaven School District resumed classes on Jan. 4 and Superintendent Rod Henderson is positive about the return.

“It’s gone pretty good,” Henderson said. “Right now we’re continuing to monitor numbers both within the district and within the city and county.”

BSD’s kindergarten through sixth grades are currently attending traditional class while grades 7-12 are still on a hybrid schedule.

Henderson said no one has inquired about the district switching to completely virtual. He said that while making the switch isn’t a possibility right now, it always could be.

“We haven’t had anyone ask about us going totally virtual,” Henderson said. “With COVID-19 being so unpredictable, I wouldn’t say it wouldn’t happen. It depends on how our situation looks within the district.”

One factor of switching to virtual is how many students are out of the classroom.

“A lot of people don’t understand that the quarantine numbers outweighs the positive cases,” Henderson said. “That impacts your ability to have a productive learning environment.”

Henderson said the district is constantly monitoring numbers and will make the switch to virtual learning if necessary.

“We’re not looking at virtual learning as a possibility at this time,” Henderson said.

With the beginning of a new semester, enrollment numbers are bound to shift. For Henderson’s district, those numbers have.

“We’ve had some additions, that happens a lot when the January semester rolls around,” Henderson said. “We’re pretty much around the same number that we were at the beginning of the year.”

The district didn’t see a large number of students switch from traditional to virtual learning. Rather, it saw the opposite.

“We didn’t have a big switch to virtual,” Henderson said. “We’ve had a lot of students request to come back from at home learning to traditional learning.”

Henderson hopes things will begin to improve as the district moves into the spring.

“I hope we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” Henderson said. “COVID-19 is so unpredictable. I hope we can focus on providing a positive and effective learning environment for our students.”