Chester County Schools face unique issues with reopening

CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — For Chester County Schools, their back-to-school plans are going to look a little bit different than others.

Chester County Schools

“In Chester County, we have a significant limitation with our internet connectivity. We can’t get around that. There’s a lot of work and effort in the local communities to improve that, but it’s not going to be a quick fix,” said Chester County Director of Schools Troy Kilzer II.

That means they’re going to have to take as many precautions as possible for in-person teaching since every student is going to have to return.

“We had an ozone treatment for all of our facilities. It was a large price tag, but we felt like it was a worthwhile effort,” Kilzer said.

And a hot topic across the country right now: facemasks.

In Chester County, elementary school students will be highly encouraged to wear masks. For junior high and high school, it will be a requirement.

“We’re going to be mandating masks for junior high and high school, and for all of our staff. We’re not only going to be modeling it ourselves, but also teaching students how to do it,” Kilzer said.

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Kilzer stresses that it’s not just academics to worry about — It’s also a concern for students being able to build relationships with teachers and fellow students. He said Chester County wants to be safe while doing it.

“Our priority is the safety, the cleanliness, the attention to the details that we are now being thrust into,” Kilzer said. “We feel like it is safe to return to school in full measure. There is not going to be any short attention to the first few days of school.”

Kilzer said a more formal announcement will be released later this week.

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