News Story: Bleckley County schools to close until April 13

Bleckley Schools to Close

By Becky Holland

COCHRAN, GEORGIA: Its just one more addition to the long list of school closings in the state of Georgia in response to the coronavirus.

The Bleckley County School System Board of Education met Sunday, March 14, and voted to close the schools from March 16-April 13, 2020.

In a statement released after the meeting, Dr. Steve J. Smith, Bleckley County School Superintendent, said, “Closing schools at this time represents an unprecedented move on our part, but the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) is also unprecedented.”

Smith continued, “We anticipate Georgia Governor Brian Kemp will either strengthen his recommendation for all schools to close or issue a mandate, and we wanted to give our parents as much notice as possible.”

According to Smith, the closure will take effect on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, as students, faculty and staff were to return after Spring Break. Monday, March 16 was to be an in-session today for faculty and staff anyway.

As of right now, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in the middle Georgia area. Smith said, “The limited availability of test kits causes concern regarding the accuracy of the data.”

Smith said in the press release that “during the period of closure, all activities will be postponed, including the Bleckley County High School prom.”

Lessons, books and worksheets will be sent home to students beginning Wednesday, March 18 … the date that the district will begin its emergency feeding program. Via the district website,, exact locations of food pickup and deliveries will be posted on Tuesday, March 17.

The meals presented will, as to adhere to Georgia food safety regulations, most likely consist of cold and shelf-stable items.

Smith said, “This is not a vacation, and students should not congregate during the time … we recommend no play-dates, get-togethers or activities involving anyone outside of immediate family members. We also recommend using FaceTime or other digital meeting apps to socialize with one another.”

The district will provide updates and breaking news via its Twitter feed @BleckleySchools and its website.

Smith concluded, “Central Office and other 12-month personnel at low risk for the virus will help deliver meals to students.”

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