Omicron forces Shelby County schools remote


Julia Davison, Chelsea Buzz Reporter

On Thursday, January 20, 2022, Shelby County Schools announced that every school, elementary through high, would transition into remote learning. This decision was made due to the high numbers of faculty, students, and staff who have received positive tests from Covid-19. The schools had only been back from Christmas break for a week and a half before they were shut down. However, the schools were only shut down for three business days, five days if the weekends were to be included. The positivity rate for Covid-19 is 48.8% and is continuing to rapidly increase. The schools are still going to serve lunches and will be distributing them from 10-10:30. 

The teachers are encouraged to keep in touch with their students via the internet and still give them assignments. Jaylyn Webster, a junior at Chelsea High gives perspective on remote learning. 

“Before we went remote, in multiple of my classes, I would have to go into another teacher’s classroom because I didn’t have a substitute for my teacher that was out.” Webster says. “It was hard to learn because my teachers weren’t there to explain the assignments to me. I’m glad the county made the decision to go remote and keep us safe.”

Last semester, when Covid-19 cases were rising, the country made the decision to enforce masks. This decision only lasted for a month and caused problems for the school’s homecomings. Chelsea High had to reschedule their homecoming due to the mask mandate, but everything worked out in the end. The country opted out for the mask mandate this semester, hoping the 5 days of remote learning would give students and teachers time to quarantine and recover if they had the virus. 

The Omicron Variant of the CoronaVirus is the main culprit for this spike in cases. Cases were slowly rising during Christmas break and once students returned to school, they greatly spiked. Some select schools were chosen to go remote before the country announced that all schools would og remote. These schools include Calera High, Calera Middle, Calera Intermediate, Shelby Elementary, Columbiana Middle, Chelsea Park Elementary, Oak Mountain Elementary, Linda Nolen Learning Center, and Oak Mountain High School. This resulted in these schools being out from Wednesday, January 19 through Wednesday, January 26. Remote learning greatly affects teachers as well. Allison Davis, an English teacher from Vincent Middle and High School gave her perspective on remote learning.

“As much as I miss my students, I’m glad the county gave this opportunity to keep students safe and healthy, she said.”