Savannah-Chatham public school parents, pediatrician urge board to provide in-person school option

Savannah schools reopening Chatham County

UPDATE: On Wed. Sept. 16, Savannah-Chatham public school board approved a phased-in, hybrid model for return to in-person learning. Details here. 

Savannah-Chatham public school board will continue to discuss a possible phased in return to in-person learning at a 9AM meeting Wed. Sept. 16 after hearing from parents & community members at the Sept. 9 meeting.

Watch the 9AM Wed. Sept. 16 on the SCCPSS YouTube channel here. 


The majority of those who spoke Sept. 9 urged the board to give parents the option of having their children return to in-person learning. Currently, Savannah-Chatham public schools are only offering virtual learning, with no set date for a return to in-person learning. (Savannah Classical Academy is a K-12 free public charter school that’s part of the local school system and is offering in-person learning)

Watch the Sept. 9 meeting here.

Particularly noteworthy are comments from Memorial Health pediatrician Dr. Andrew Gunter about 31 min. into the video. He advocates for returning to in-person learning with necessary precautions. Caring for children ages 0-18 at Memorial, the majority on Medicaid, Dr. Gunter said in-person learning is far superior and safer than online learning. He emphasized the important role teachers have in keeping kids safe, that teachers identify abuse and mental health disorders more often than parents and pediatricians, saying “We’ve had more children die from abuse and suicide in Chatham than from COVID.”

Dr. Gunter volunteered a group of pediatricians to help the board reopen schools safely.

“Please know we are a voice for our patients who have no say, we see the destruction of health and well being of children in our community and we’ve been examining patients safely for over seven months through this crisis. We can help show you how it can be done there just has to be will to get it done. Nothing is impossible,” Dr. Gunter said.

Find the Savannah-Chatham public school system’s proposed phased-in return plan here.

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