School Start Updated - August 10, 2020


August 10, 2020


The McDuffie County School System has been actively monitoring public health data as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Department of Education.  As indicated in previous communications, the instructional models presented earlier were contingent upon public health data at the time.


Infection rates continue to increase in McDuffie County, our state, and across the nation. As of August 9th, McDuffie County is considered to have substantial spread - 352 cases with 117 cases confirmed in the last two weeks.


Based on the current public health data and on the advice of medical professionals, the McDuffie County School System will enact a Learn from Home/Virtual Learning model for all students beginning August 17, 2020.  The system will remain in a Learn from Home/Virtual Learning model until September 4, 2020, and should continuation be necessary, plans will be communicated as soon as possible.




Each school in the district will establish and communicate a pick-up schedule for instructional materials. Parents who opted for the face-to-face instructional model and who need to check out a family device or Internet hot spot are asked to complete the form located on the system website at by August 13. Devices and hotspots are property of McDuffie County Schools and may be used for instructional purposes only.  A device checkout and usage agreement is required prior to the issuing a device or hotspot. Families are responsible for payment for damaged and lost devices. Due to the limited number of devices, one device per family will be issued.


Materials will be distributed August 18th- 20th. All students have materials to be picked up from their respective schools.


Parents who registered students for the Learn from Home Model prior to July 30th will pick up devices and instructional materials August 10th -13th.

All other students, those who had planned to attend face-to-face, will pick up materials August 18th- 20th.




Students in grades K-12 are expected to log in to Google Classroom and/or the Edgenuity platform Monday- Friday to watch recorded lessons, participate in scheduled video chats, complete assignments, and communicate with the teacher. Pre-K student lessons will be posted on the teacher webpages. In addition to recorded lessons, pupils may have scheduled meetings with the teacher through Google Meet or other web conferencing tools at given times during school day hours. Content assistance is available during the school day by emailing or contacting the teacher through Google Classroom.


Teachers will post assignments and lessons with specified timelines that will need to be strictly adhered to by students. Assignments, unless otherwise instructed by the teacher, will be submitted through Google Classroom. Each assignment will require 15-60 minutes of independent work after the student has received direct instruction through the recorded and live lessons.  To ensure mastery and provide feedback on learning, students are expected to complete assignments without the aid or assistance of others. Failure to complete assignments in a timely manner or to participate in virtual classes will result in failing grades that could lead to course failure and/or grade retention.


Attendance will be monitored through the submission of the weekly assignments. Students who are submitting weekly assignments will be counted present; failure to submit any work for the week or to participate in any live class sessions will result in a student’s being marked as absent in the official student record. Grades and attendance will be posted in the PowerSchool Parent Portal as usual.


Students may log-in to instructional programs like Rosetta Stone, Accelerated Reader, iReady, and USATestPrep using the directions found on the Learn from Home page on this website and in the scheduling letter mailed August 7.  Each building also has a designated technology contact to assist parents, as indicated in the scheduling letter and located on the Learn from Home page.




As indicated in the Return to School Plan for the district, the system has established 12 Wi-Fi access points throughout the county for students. The Wi-Fi access points will be within school resource officer vehicles and parked in the following locations: 





There is a morning and afternoon schedule to provide more flexibility for our families and greater access for our students. Access points will be available beginning Monday, August 17, 2020.



Location AM

8:30 – 11:30

Location PM

1:00 – 3:00

Calvary Baptist Church

4837 Luckey’s Bridge Road - Dearing

Fort Creek Baptist Church

1497 Fort Creek Road - Dearing

Rollingwood Apartments

500 Mendel Avenue

Pitts Street Park

210 Pitts Street

Dearing Pointe

Corner of Randall Rd. and Larkin Rd.

Marshall Baptist Church

436 Marshall Church Road

Springfield Baptist – Old MAC

614 Martin Luther King, Jr. St.

Boys and Girls Club

221 Pecan Avenue

Thomson Villas

642 Forest Clary Dr. Ext.

Happy Valley Store (rear parking area)

4211 Happy Valley Road

Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church

1753 Mt. Pleasant Road

Sweetwater Activity Center

2110 Wire Road


In addition to the 12 Wi-Fi Access points announced yesterday, the district is providing 4 additional Wi-Fi access points between 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. each day at the following locations:


Calvary Baptist Church

4837 Luckey’s Bridge Road - Dearing

Happy Valley Store (rear parking area)

4211 Happy Valley Road

Raysville Marina

6584 Lincolnton Rd NE

Thomson-McDuffie Government Complex (new court house)**

210 Railroad Street


** Effective September 1, 2020 this access point will be relocated to

Union Baptist Church

2743 Cedar Rock Road


At these locations, families can use personal devices or system-issued Chromebooks to connect to the system network. Directions on how to change the Wi-Fi settings on Chromebooks are located on the Learn from Home link on the system webpage.


Up to 60 devices located within 300 feet of the SRO vehicles may be served at once. Families should remain in their vehicles or homes at these locations to adhere to social distancing guidelines.


Using devices connected to these Wi-Fi locations will enable students to watch teacher-directed videos, to submit assignments, to email teachers, and to reload flash drives by downloading materials from Google Classroom.




The school system will be providing meals to all students during the virtual learning model. Families who would like for their students to participate in the breakfast and lunch program should complete the survey on the system website prior to August 13.


  • Buses will run normal routes and students MUST pick up a meal at their normal bus stop. Deliveries will take place between 7:00 – 8:15 each morning.
  • Buses will return to their assigned schools at 11:00 to pick up lunches. Lunches will be delivered between 11:00 and 12:15. Again, the student must meet the bus at their normal bus stop location to receive a meal.
  • Per Georgia Department of Education Regulations the STUDENT must pick up the meals. Parents are not allowed to pick the meal up for the student(s).





The system will continue to monitor public health data and make a determination if changes in the instructional model are possible on September 8, 2020.  The three models under consideration to begin on September 8, 2020, are as follows:


  1. If the community spread is at a minimal level, the system will begin face-to-face instruction for students beginning September 8, 2020. Students who enrolled in the Learn from Home Model prior to July 30, 2020, will continue in the Learn from Home model.
  2. If the community spread is at a moderate level, the system may enact a blended model which would include two days of face-to-face instruction and three days of virtual instruction.
  3. If the community spread remains substantial, the system would continue Learn from Home/Virtual Learning for all students.



This decision was not made lightly, and we recognize the potential inconvenience. However, it is our charge not only to educate our children but also to keep students and staff safe and healthy. We appreciate your support as we navigate this changing situation.


The Return to School Plan is located on the system website at


Link to Device Request Form for Face-to-Face Families

Link to Meal Request Form for All Families

Link to School Supply Lists