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DCBOE extends online learning for one week

The Decatur County Board of Education announced Thursday afternoon that they are extending the distance learning window for an additional week, intending on students to now return on September 13, 2021.

Decatur County Schools were originally scheduled to return to face-to-face learning on Tuesday, September 7. However, in light of the death of Bainbridge Middle School Educator Dr. Michael Lewis and a continued spike in COVID-19 numbers, Superintendent Tim Cochran felt it best to take an extra week out of precaution.

“We are in better shape than we were two weeks ago,” Cochran said. “I feel comfortable we can get back on track come September 13, but we just don’t want to pull the trigger too soon.”

Cochran realizes the COVID-19 situation can change in an instant, though and said if the numbers are still too high come September 13, he will re-evaluate the situation, because he knows kids need to be back in a classroom setting while still saying safe and healthy.

Cochran also wants to extend his deepest condolences to the Lewis family and give adequate time to the BMS faculty to grieve this tragic loss.

“We are praying for his family,” he said. “He will leave at hole at BMS… he’s been there as long as I’ve been in this position and will be forever missed.”

In a post to the community, the school system said that Lewis’ impact on the Bearcat students will never be forgotten, as his commitment to lifelong learning demonstrated his passion for the importance of education.

Cochran said the DCBOE will continue to update parents, guardians, students and faculty as the week progresses.