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Since switching to an all-virtual format on Wednesday due to a disruption in the system’s transportation operations, the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) has started to provide details for its plans to return to in-person learning.

According to a press release issued Thursday morning, elementary school students are returning to in-person learning Monday.

Middle and high school students, however, are scheduled to remain in virtual-learning mode for an additional week, not returning to in-person learning until at least Monday, Sept. 20.

Details to follow as they become available, according to the release.

Through the release, the system conveyed the reason for the staggered re-start to in-person learning, stating, “The purpose of this phased approach is to enable the district to continue to work on sustainable solutions to better support its transportation operations.”

It came to light this past holiday weekend that a third transportation member passed away in the last two weeks.

At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, the GSCS system gave parents the option to send their children to non-system based virtual learning or remain with in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year.

More than 90% chose in-person learning.

Since that time, however, COVID-19 cases across the state have risen dramatically.

Because of COVID-19 activity, Griffin High switched to an all-virtual format on Sept. 1.

The same day the Griffin Daily News ran a story about two GSCS transportation employees who passed recently. The school system had 18 bus drivers out that Monday (Aug. 30) of which nine reported being positive for COVID-19, according to a school system spokesman.

Prior to that, all sixth-grade students at Kennedy Road Middle quarantined and switched to an all-virtual format on Aug. 27 through Tuesday, Sept. 7.