Perhaps the most anticipated topic on the Griffin-Spalding County Board of Education’s agenda during its regularly scheduled monthly meeting Tuesday was its back-to-school plans.

“We’re very, very excited to open our 2021-22 school year,” said Dr. Donald Warren, GSCS deputy superintendent, “with the vast majority of our students receiving instruction in person.”

“We are going to continue to have multiple mitigation strategies on our campuses to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he added.

The Griffin-Spalding County School System will begin its school year on Aug. 4.

Masks are optional for all staff and students, who are urged to self-monitor through the questioning guidance from the CDC.

Thermal cameras will also be in use throughout the system, which will receive thorough cleanings daily, including in critical areas each day.

Other things like touchless water fountains are also being installed throughout the system.

Buses will also be cleaned and disinfected daily.

Visits by visitors to campus will be limited to appointment only, parents are also urged to remain in their vehicles in the car drop-off/pick-up line.

Sporting and extracurricular events will go back to 100% seating capacity this year. Band and cheerleaders may also attend events this year.

“Most importantly, we reserve the right ... to make changes based on revised guidance from the CDC or Georgia Department of Public Health ...,” noted Warren.

With infection rates currently rising in many areas across the country, Superintendent Keith Simmons noted the fluid nature of the situation and urged all to consider getting the vaccine if they have not already done so.

In other business, the board approved by a 5-0 vote the following items:

• Its entire consent agenda, including all personnel actions and business agenda items.

• A request for Abatement of Taxes by the Griffin-Spalding Land Bank Authority.

• Stride Software for Virtual Academy students in grades K-5 approved at a cost not to exceed $300,000 for the 2021-2022 school year using CARES III funds.

• Edgenuity Software for Virtual Academy students in grades six to 12 approved at a cost not to exceed $448,530 for the 2021-2022 school year using CARES III funds.