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COVID shuts down 3 schools

Polk County temporarily closes Polk Central, Polk Middle and Polk High Schools
POLK COUNTY—Less than 2 weeks into the school year, Polk County had to temporarily close 3 of its schools because of COVID-19 impacts.
Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene called families Thursday afternoon to say that Polk Central, Polk Middle and Polk High Schools will be closed Friday and Tuesday.
“These temporary closures will help us recover from staffing deficits, mitigate the increasing numbers of positive cases, allow completion of existing investigations and get students back on campus from quarantines,” Greene said.
Greene also said there will be no school assignments or instructional expectations for students for the 2 missed school days. Students are out of school on Monday for Labor Day.
Families may pick up free lunches for students 18 and under from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at Polk Central Elementary School on Friday and Tuesday. Coaches will communicate with players regarding the status of athletic teams. Teachers and staff at these sites will operate on a workday schedule both days.
“We realize this is inconvenient for students and families, and we apologize for the short notice,” Greene said. “As we have stated throughout the pandemic temporary closures of school sites may occur.”
The Polk County School Board has been under fire in the last few weeks for deciding to make masks optional at all its schools for teachers and students.
While most of the comments at school board meetings and county commissioner meetings regarding masks have been that they should not be mandated, a group has formed with a petition to encourage the school board to change its mind on masks.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill this week that school boards will now have to vote monthly if they want to continue requiring face masks. The new bill also includes graduation requirements, grading, driving privileges for students and the use of remote instruction.
South Carolina was just named as the highest of COVID-19 cases in the country per capita. Some South Carolina schools have also recently shut down because of the number of cases in the school systems. District One Schools are still in session.