Information » COVID-19 Archive

COVID-19 Archive

We have been very encouraged by the downward trend in our post-winter break COVID-19 numbers (Omicron) from a high of 45 (.0075%) positive in early January down to a single lab-positive case this past Friday, Feb 11th.  Undoubtedly we are on the backside of the most recent surge in COVID-19 cases in our county and state. These numbers also pale compared to our Delta surge that reached 102 (.017%) positives in the district on September 3rd.

We want to thank our community and our amazing staff for all you have done up to this point to ensure as normal of a school year as possible. Your efforts have enabled us to keep the doors open and our students thriving. With that said, we are making some slight adjustments to our protocols to reflect our improving status.

After a recent comprehensive review of Buford City Schools (BCS) Covid-19 Protocols, the following changes to current guidelines have been made and are effective Monday, February 21, 2022:

Starting on Monday, February 21, 2022, we will adjust our transportation protocols to align with our school-based protocol. Masking on busses will be strongly encouraged but will become optional.

Buford City Schools will move to a color-coded, tiered system to identify the level of transmission and subsequent mitigation strategies at each school.  

   Green--less than 1% of the school population is positive = NO contact tracing

   Yellow--1%-4% of the school population is positive = return to contact tracing protocols that include Alternative Quarantine Policy

    Red--5% or more of the school population is positive = initiate protocols in place at the beginning of the pandemic (contact tracing, spacing, lunch in classrooms, etc.)

  • Buford City Schools will contact trace only if a school is in the “yellow or red phase,” which means more than 1% of the total student and staff population is COVID-19 positive. Contact tracing is the process of identifying students who may have been exposed to the infection (within 3 feet for 15 minutes or more.)
  • While in the “green phase,” BCS will monitor confirmed lab-positive students only.

If a school documents an increase in COVID-19 cases and moves into the “yellow phase,” all prior system quarantine guidelines apply, and protocols remain unchanged for students who test positive for COVID-19. 

The positive numbers on Friday will determine the tier for each school for the following week.  The superintendent's office will email each principal on Fridays to notify them of the following week's status, and the website will be updated with the current phase. We will no longer be reporting exact numbers by school on the website (starting next week-we will do both this week.)

Yours Respectfully,


Mrs. Melanie Reed

Superintendent Buford City Schools 


BCS Family,


Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a chance to relax and recharge during our holiday break.  We are so looking forward to seeing everyone back at school on January 5th.


As many of us have gathered with family over the break, I am certain you have heard of a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the nation due, in large part, to the new Omicron variant.  You may have also heard that the CDC has released new Isolation and Quarantine protocols for asymptomatic people.


“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others.”


So as we start the New Year, I think it is an excellent time to review best practices and outline the new COVID-19 protocols.


If you are sick, STAY HOME- I may have mentioned this a time or two before, but it is more important than ever. Just as important, the flu and stomach viruses are also contagious, so please stay home if you have symptoms of any of these illnesses.  Additionally, if you take a Covid-19 test, please stay home until results are back.


Our top two priorities for a safe return to school have not changed:

  1. Vaccination is still the #1 tool to combat the COVID-19 virus. Everyone 5 years and older has plentiful access to the vaccination.
  2. If you are sick, stay home! Students and staff must not come to school with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher and must not come to school until they have been fever-free, without the use of fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours.

We are not reporting holiday break COVID-19 numbers to the Department of Public Health (DPH). However, our nurses and administrators will need this information to prepare for second semester. Please email your school nurse if your student has tested positive for COVID-19 over the break or if he or she has been deemed a close contact by DPH guidelines.  


Per CDC/DPH guidance:


“You may discontinue home isolation if you had symptoms when:

  • At least 5 days* have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • At least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved


You may discontinue home isolation if you did NOT have symptoms when:

  • At least 5 days have passed since the positive laboratory test and you remain asymptomatic
  • Note, if you later develop symptoms, you should follow the guidance for symptomatic persons above.
*To determine when 5 days have passed, you can consider that day 0 of isolation defined as either the date your symptoms started, if symptomatic, or the date of your first positive test, if asymptomatic. If leaving isolation earlier than 10 days, you should continue to wear a mask around others for the remainder of the 10 days.”


Below you will find the dates a student may return if he or she has a positive COVID-19 test or is a close contact of a COVID-19 positive case.


Positive Cases:


Test Date or Symptom Onset (whichever is first)

Return Date

(wear a mask for 5 days upon return)

December 30

January 5

December 31

January 6

January 1

January 7

January 2

January 10

January 3

January 10

January 4

January 10



BCS has instituted an Alternative Quarantine Policy (AQP) this year that prioritized in person learning. The CDC’s new quarantine guidance mirrors our AQP in many ways. As such, we will continue to use our current Alternative Quarantine Policy requiring mask use for 10 days after exposure (and a signed parent form).  The only adaptation we will make relates close contact within the household (they currently must stay home for 7/10 days). They will be able to return after 5 days home quarantine and then wear a mask for the remaining 5 days.


Close Contacts: 

Date of last exposure: AQP-wear a mask for 10 days (Close Contact within a household can return after 5 days and wear a mask for the remaining 5 days)


Date of Last Exposure

Required to Mask until

December 26

January 6

December 27

January 7

December 28

January 10

December 29, 30

January 10

December 31

January 11

January 1

January 12

January 2

January 13

January 3

January 14

January 4

January 15



(Close Contact within a household can return after 5 days and wear a mask for the remaining 5 days)


Thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we navigate this New Year. We are all very excited to have everyone back in the buildings (as I am sure you are) and making great choices in 2022!

Go Wolves!



Dr. Robert Downs
Buford City Schools

Dear Buford Community,
The Buford City School System plans for a safe return for our students in the next two weeks. We have outlined below the classroom priorities, mitigation strategies, protocols, and practices for the upcoming school year regarding COVID-19.

We believe the details below prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, and community while still keeping academic success as our top objective.

You can also download a summary of these safety protocols by clicking here.

Our top two priorities for a safe return to the classroom are:

1. Vaccination is the #1 tool to combat the COVID-19 virus. Everyone 12 years and older has plentiful access to the vaccination.

2. If you are sick, stay home! Students and staff must not come to school with a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher and must not come to school until they have been fever-free, without the use of fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours.

Mitigation Strategies:

We strongly recommend that non-vaccinated students and teachers wear a cloth face covering when they are at school. However, masking is optional at BCS. Students will be required to wear cloth face coverings on BCS school buses (Federal mandate). Face coverings should be a solid color or one that has the BCS logo on it.
Social Distancing will be encouraged indoors and where appropriate. The CDC recommendation of 3 feet distance will be adhered to when possible.

Quarantine & Isolation:

While we are attempting to return to something resembling normal, COVID-19 has not entirely gone away. The requirement to contact trace is not a Buford City Schools’ invention. According to the Department of Public Health, contact tracing must occur anytime an infectious disease is reported to us. Anyone who is fully vaccinated is not subject to quarantining (unless symptomatic).

As we did last year, any student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate in accordance with the isolation guidelines from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

• If you are fully vaccinated (14 days after last shot) or if you have recovered from the virus in the past 90 days (and provide lab results/vaccination card to school nurse), you will NOT be subject to quarantine after contact tracing.
• The CDC also adjusted their contact trace definition to limit the need for quarantine when both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of well-fitting masks.
We have, with careful consideration, revisited and updated our approach to immediately quarantining large groups of students, and a more systematic and intentional procedure will be put in place regarding close contacts quarantine this fall.

Cleaning Protocols:

BCS will continue to provide hand sanitizer in all classrooms, common areas, and school buses. Further, while we recognize that the data shows surface-level contact does not pose a high risk for COVID-19 transmission, daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces in school buildings and on school buses will continue.

If a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a classroom, building, or school bus, additional disinfecting will occur the same day.

The water fountains in each school are operational. However, BCS highly recommends students continue the use of clear, personal water bottles.

Journey back to “normal”:

Our lunchrooms are returning to normal service. However, the USDA has extended no-cost meal service for breakfast and lunch to all students through the 2021-2022 school year.

Although meals will be offered at no cost, families are encouraged to complete the free and reduced application for qualifying students to be eligible for other opportunities or discounted services, including fee waivers for college applications, SAT, ACT, and AP exams.

Visitation and volunteer opportunities will be phased back in this school year. Principals will guide parents and guardians about visitation in their buildings.

Buford City Schools will offer athletics and extracurricular activities for the 2021-2022 school year. Current plans are for events to be open to spectators at full capacity per Georgia High School Association guidance. GO WOLVES!


Each school will provide appropriate communication when there is a positive case of COVID-19 in their buildings and a need to contact students who may have been in close contact with the infected individual.

To review the updated document about determining and reporting COVID-19 exposures, please Click here for PDF.
Lastly, I want to assure you our BCS nurses are highly trained and incredibly compassionate about the health and safety of all students. They will continue to be the school’s main COVID-19 point of contact.
I trust their judgment and empower them to make the appropriate medical assessments to maintain the correct safety standards.

If a student exhibits COVID-19 related symptoms while in the school clinic, the nurse has the discretion to request the student wear a mask or be isolated while in the clinic. No child will be forced to wear a mask while in the clinic; rather, an asymptomatic child who does not want to wear a mask will be isolated until the parent/guardian arrives to take them home.

We are still in weekly contact with our local Department of Public Health officials, and if community transmission data or BCS-specific data justifies a need to change any of the above safety protocols, we will make the appropriate adjustments.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we navigate our new normal. We are all very excited to have everyone back in the buildings and making great choices this school year.
Go Wolves!

Dr. Robert Downs
Buford City Schools
Click HERE for information from the Department of Public Health.

Good afternoon BCS Family,  Congratulations on the first FULL WEEK with students. Don’t let anyone tell you last week wasn’t a full week also but 5 days in front of kids I know is exhausting. You all have earned a weekend.


As I have mentioned numerous times- We are very focused on our local data. I assure you, our nursing staff, administrators, and school leadership teams are prepared to pivot if and when necessary.- that sounds ominous- really just a small tweak to our new Alternate Quarantine Protocol.  I will be sending this to the community later today:


Based on our local data, we are making a slight change to our Alternative Quarantine Protocol effective Monday August 16, 2021.


Several of our positives have originated in the home and spread through unavoidable close contact. 


If you report a positive in the family where contact tracing originated outside the school, you will be required to quarantine at home per our quarantine guidelines.


Alternative Quarantine Protocol will be an option for those persons contact traced in the school setting only. 


Students or staff identified as close contacts to a positive COVID-19 case at home will quarantine by DPH guidelines.


Option 1: 7 Day Quarantine with a Negative COVID-19 Test

  • The student must have a negative COVID-19 lab test within 72 hours of his/her return to school date above AND have no COVID-19 symptoms during the quarantine period.  
  • Upon return to school, the student must present a copy of his/her negative COVID-19 lab test results to the school nurse.


Option 2: 10 Day Quarantine--No COVID-19 Test Required

  • The student may return to school after 10 days if he/she has no symptoms while in quarantine.


Students or staff identified as close contacts to a COVID-19 case at school may return to school and follow our Alternate Quarantine Policy for the duration of the monitoring period.

Option 1: Alternative Quarantine Protocol and Agreement

  • Student remains in school but must be in compliance with the following procedures:

o    Parent must sign the Alternative Quarantine Agreement Form

o    Check temperature twice a day for duration of the quarantine period

o    Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms

o    Wear a mask for the duration of the quarantine period

o    Notify school nurse immediately if student exhibits symptoms


Your child is NOT required to quarantine if he/she has received a positive COVID-19 test result within the last 90 days or has been fully vaccinated; however, appropriate documentation must be provided to school administration (COVID-19 test result). 


Unvaccinated students and unvaccinated staff members who live in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 should quarantine in accordance with DPH guidelines.

COVID-19 Update – December 4, 2020

Dear BCS families,

As many of you are aware, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have altered their guidance for those deemed a close contact to a positive Covid-19 case.  The Department of Public Health (DPH) is now following the CDC’s new directive and asked that schools adhere to this new quarantine timeline. You will see our new guidance attached.  


For many, the news of a reduced length of time for those in quarantine is a welcome relief.  The CDC director, Robert Redfield, recently shared in a coronavirus task force briefing that the rate of transmission in schools is extremely low. The cases reported from schools have come from outside of the school buildings.  Our facilities management and custodial teams work tirelessly to ensure a healthy environment for our staff and students.  I can honestly say that I feel our schools are the safest place for our students to learn.


At this time, I ask once again for your patience.  With these changes, our fantastic school nurses and administrators will be adjusting their processes for the new timeline of students returning.  Please grant them the grace needed as they rework the system we are accustomed to over the last five months.  As guidance shifts, we will do our best to communicate those changes as quickly as possible.



Dr. Downs

COVID-19 Update – May 21, 2020
(Click on the video to watch a message from Dr. Downs.)
COVID-19 Update – May 8, 2020


Dear BCS Families,

Though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I don’t know exactly where this tunnel is going. What I do know is that next week, we will conclude our “normal” school year on May 21. I continue to be grateful for all that each of you has done to support your student and our teachers and get us to the end of this tunnel. 


As I have done each week during the closure, here are a few short updates and reminders:


Bringing Closure to the School Year

Next week the schools will have drive-thru service for you to collect your student’s belongings. It will be everything our staff can do to not hug each of you, but help them by staying in your car, and open your trunk or car window for a staff member to place those items in your car. You can find information about your student’s pick-up time and procedures HERE


Report Cards

As was the case for the first semester, our end-of-the-year report cards will be sent home digitally through parent email addresses. These files are secured PDF files that will require your student’s date of birth in the MM/DD/YYYY format to open them. They will expire after 14 days, so please print a copy for your records during that timeframe. You can expect to receive your report card by the end of May.


No Kid Hungry

Next week we will wrap-up our emergency meal delivery service. I can't thank our Nutrition and Transportation Departments enough, as well as the many staff volunteers, who made this not only possible but successful. Each time I am there I'm in awe of their seamless process. Thank you to our community friends who provided lunches for our volunteers.


If your family is in need of meal or financial assistance during the summer please reach out to our community partners at the North Gwinnett Coop. Another useful website is Food Finder where you can see times, dates, and locations of resources in our area for meal assistance.


If you would like to give items for the North Gwinnett Coop there will be a parent-led donation drive-thru next week at the Buford Arena. Details for that are below. 


Roadmap to Return

I want to acknowledge the conversation that is occurring in many BCS homes: what will school look like in the Fall? While I don’t have a crystal ball, I do want to assure you that BCS is working hard to be prepared for when that day comes. Such considerations include but are not limited to medical safety protocols, increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and the potential for additional school closures in the future. We are in regular collaboration with the Georgia Department of Education, the Department of Public Health, and metro-Atlanta superintendents. I understand the importance of schools being open in the Fall; I also acknowledge the magnitude of prioritizing our students’ health and safety in making such decisions.


As we look ahead to the future, there are at least two scenarios I can imagine regarding schooling. One scenario is where we resume normal school and are more intentional about leveraging technology to support student learning at home. Through a Chromebook (or another device) and our digital learning platforms, our students would have the opportunity to make their home an extension of the classroom. In other words, your child would access digital resources to complement what occurs inside their classroom during the school day. The other scenario is less encouraging where our schools close for some period of time due to another COVID-19 outbreak. I can’t predict if or when; I just know, based on medical experts, that this scenario is within the realm of possibility.


Either way, whether we are planning for normal school or future school closures, we must learn from this current experience. I couldn’t be prouder of how our staff and students performed during the abrupt change to our daily instruction. But if we are faced with school closures in the future – be that for weeks due to COVID-19 or a single day due to snow – we have an opportunity now to make digital learning more effective the next time.

Until then, please know that we will work to continue to support each student and every family.

In this together,


Dr. Downs

COVID-19 Update – May 8, 2020
(Click on the video to watch a message from Dr. Downs.)
COVID-19 Update – May 1, 2020
(Click on the video to watch a message from Dr. Downs.)
Distribution Details
Each school has established a safe distribution plan to deliver the students' items. Please pull up to the designated location and stay in your car so that we can continue to adhere to safe social-distancing practices. Place a sign with your student’s first and last name in the windshield so that staff can retrieve their items. A staff member will place your student’s items in the truck of your car or through a window you have rolled down. We appreciate your adherence to these guidelines so that we can do our part in keeping everyone healthy, as well as keeping the lines moving to respect everyone’s time.
COVID-19 Update – April 22, 2020

Parents, we appreciate your partnership and flexibility as we continue to navigate digital instruction and student learning during these trying times. The beginning of the 2020-2021 school year will look differently for all Georgia students. Our teachers and administrators are already working to identify and address academic gaps students may have experienced during digital learning/school closure. Beginning in May and continuing through the summer, teachers will collaborate to identify standards that need to be retaught, create pre-assessments to evaluate learning, and revise curriculum calendars to reflect the needs of individual students. Rest assured, we will meet learners where they are to ensure their academic success moving forward. Please refer to the plan outlined below for end of year digital learning and grading plans.

COVID-19 Update – April 17, 2020

(Click on the video to watch a message from Dr. Downs.)


Dear BCS Families,


This week brought beautiful weather, so hopefully, your children enjoyed their (digital) recess and P.E. outside. Below I wanted to recap where to find links to important information.


Digital Learning

As we continue to use our digital learning platforms to engage and educate our students, we know there will be questions to arise. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns you may have.


You can find the grading systems being used here:

Grades 1 – 8

Grades 9 – 12



We know that some families are facing obstacles during our Digital Learning days. If your student needs printed materials or additional assistance please reach out to their teacher. Our staff is using different methods to ensure that each student is able to continue with their educational growth. The state has put together a comprehensive list of resources for families needing high-speed connectivity. Click here to view that LIST.


No Kid Hungry

Our meal delivery service has found its stride and is running smoothly. We appreciate all our staff who are volunteering to make this successful! If you need further assistance, our friends at the North Gwinnett Cooperative are available to help.


Board of Education Meeting

As we still work under Governor Kemp’s shelter-in-place order, our monthly Board of Education meeting will broadcast on Facebook Live on Monday, April 20 at 12 pm. You will find the video feed on the Buford City Schools’ Facebook page.


Census 2020

Buford counts! The Census funds schools, roads, healthcare, and more. We need to make sure everyone completes the Census information to ensure proper funding for the next 10 years. This process is completely confidential. A kindergartener counted in the 2020 Census this spring will be starting high school when the next census comes around in 2030: That’s 10 years of school supplies, teachers, school lunches, and so much more. This is your opportunity to help ensure they have a bright future.


Kindergarten Registration

We have begun kindergarten registration for our newest Wolves that live in-district. If you have a child that will be 5 years old by September 1, 2020, please register them online at this LINK.


Everywhere we turn the expression “we’re in this together” is being used. Even I have used it. Recently, I was thinking about the fact that Buford has always been “in it together”. In the last five weeks as needs have arisen there has been an abundance of volunteers wanting to step up. I am extremely proud to be a part of this community, to be in the trenches each day with an amazing faculty striving to give our students their best. To be successfully following the social-distancing guidelines, I don’t feel distant from our students. Their needs are our guiding light each day as we trudge through difficult decisions and seek ways to mitigate their losses. Thank you, Buford, for being not just a community but a family.




Dr. Downs, Superintendent

COVID-19 Update – April 12, 2020
Dear BCS families,
Though I know Spring Break didn’t look the way many had planned, I hope you were able to find ways to disconnect and are ready to finish out the last quarter of the school year the best we can. This week we will begin to wade through the many loose ends that were left after the abrupt end to our in-person instruction. As soon as we have answers to these questions, we will communicate those details with you.
Digital Learning resumes tomorrow (Monday, April 13). I’m continually impressed with the creative ways our staff reaches out to their students. They extend past teaching curriculum and find avenues to lift the spirits of our children during this time of uncertainty. It reminds me of how amazing our Buford family truly is!
I know that one of your main questions is about how we will grade and assess your student during the closure. This has been the topic of many discussions among principals and central office staff. The simple answer is that grades earned throughout the closure will not negatively affect your student’s overall grade; student work submitted during this time will only be allowed to add value to the overall numeric grade. Now that I’ve shared this information, I have an important and heartfelt request: please stay committed to digital learning. Our teachers are dedicating time and energy into providing learning experiences and educational opportunities; please continue to honor their time and effort. Your students have worked hard and achieved so much throughout this academic year, before and during the closure; please encourage and support them for the remainder of the school year. Additionally, it is important to remember that your child’s time, effort, and learning this spring will impact their preparedness for their class and grade level next school year. Put simply, for all the above reasons, the learning we achieve from now until May matters.
Meal delivery will continue through the end of our regular school year. Each week the number of meals we distribute is climbing. We know that children cannot learn if they are hungry, so I applaud the work of our staff who are working together to make sure these needs are met. You can find the details of the meal distribution stops on our website or the attached flyer.
Our Buford community was strong before the school closure and I have no doubt, with each day and each step forward, we will be stronger tomorrow.

Dr. Downs, Superintendent
COVID-19 Update – April 3, 2020
(Click on the video to watch a message from Dr. Downs.)
Dear BCS Families,

The call has been made that we all were dreading. We know it’s in the best interest of our community’s health to close our school doors for the remainder of the year, but that doesn’t make it easier to look into the eyes of our students and staff and see their anguish.

Last night, as I was processing the magnitude of this announcement and the decisions that lie ahead, my thoughts continually went to our seniors. We want to celebrate them and all they have contributed to our schools. My hope is to give them the graduation they deserve. Due to the fact that the Buford Arena is our facility, it gives us leeway in that planning, but until Governor Kemp clears the current restrictions, we just are not able to plan for that.

I know that you have many questions regarding what the next steps will be, for example:
When will your student be able to clean out their desks/lockers?
How will your student return their library books?
How will my student get the yearbook we ordered?
Will you get a refund for field trips?
Our administrative team is working with the staff to discover what these concerns might be as well as possible solutions. As long as we are under “shelter-in-place” orders we cannot enter the schools, but after Spring Break we will begin tackling how to address these questions once the restrictions are lifted.

Digital Learning Continuation
For teachers Digital Learning presents some new and novel challenges; however, being a distance-learning student is also very different. Consider your child’s new reality. Gone is the closeness of friends, of easily getting together for group projects, study sessions, conversations, and discussions. Gone is their ability to meet with teachers after class for extra help, or to ask a follow-up question. Everything now is being mediated by a computer screen. Students may or may not function well in an online environment so being prepared around some of their challenges is important. Additionally, when not in school, some students may be tempted to do other things than schoolwork, so managing student motivation and attendance can become an issue—it is easy to fall behind distance learning. In this unique learning situation, we encourage families to set up structures where children can show off the work they have been engaged in.

No Hungry Kid
We are proud to have delivered 21,138 meals to children in our community! I appreciate everyone who works to make this endeavor not just possible, but successful. Most don’t see the countless hours behind-the-scenes where Megan Gower, Director of School Nutrition, and Brooke Higgins, School Nutrition Coordinator, do all that is necessary to make these deliveries come to fruition. Our students are blessed by their continued efforts.
Our School Nutrition Department will continue our meal delivery service on Monday, April 13. Meals will be delivered on Mondays and Wednesdays.
North Gwinnett Co-Op is offering support to families of need food during spring break. In order to receive assistance, you will need to present ID and a current utility bill with your address and zip code. Families may visit the NG Co-op one time during the week and will be given a bag of food that will feed them for the week. There is no need to call ahead, just show up. Food will be distributed in drive-through fashion to comply with social distancing guidelines. The Co-op requests that only families of need use this service.
If you would like to donate food to the Co-op you can find their needs HERE. You can drop off your donations, send donations through a service like Instacart, or purchase from their Amazon Wish List.

I know this is a stressful and challenging time for your family, but Buford is known for working together to take care of our students. As we move through this situation, please be assured that we are working to provide the best possible solutions under these circumstances. Our staff is second to none in their devotion to students, and that commitment is only strengthened by hard times. We will get through this together.

Dr. Downs, Superintendent
Grading during Digital Learning Update (grades 9-12) – April 1, 2020

Grading during Digital Learning Update (grades 1-8) – March 30, 2020


Buford City Schools will implement a new grading system for the remainder of school closure (through April 27) for grades 1-8. The goal of this new grading system is to provide low impact grades for all students while providing additional support for those students who have not yet mastered standards in the four content areas.  Teachers have already provided face-to-face instruction over the majority of the grade level standards. Yearly averages should not be negatively impacted. 


Students who were passing courses as of March 13 for yearly average will receive a weekly participation grade (100) if they submit all of their work for the week.  Participation Grades will be included in final grade calculations but will be low impact grades and will not significantly increase or decrease a student’s averages. As of March 13, all students will have three grades to date, Week 1 Participation, Week 2 Participation, and Week 3 Participation. (Note: 1st and 2nd Grade student Participation grades began with Week 2) Grades taken between March 16-present will remain in the gradebook but will not impact final average as noted by the asterisk.


Students who were failing any of the four content area courses (ELA, math, science, and social studies) as of March 13 for the yearly average, will continue to receive Participation grades and additional support and grades in the area he/she was failing until the student is passing the course. 


3rd Quarter Middle School Connections classes will be converted to Semester 2 classes in Power School and teachers will continue to give a weekly participation grade.


We appreciate your patience as we all work together to navigate the digital learning process and find a healthy balance to continue learning. If you have questions about a particular class, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

COVID-19 Update – March 27, 2020
(Click on the video to watch a message from Dr. Downs.)
Event Cancelations/Postponements
  • With Governor Kemp’s recent executive order, we have had to make some difficult decisions regarding upcoming events.
  • Blood Drive at Buford Arena (March 30-31) – This is considered an essential gathering and will take place using the precautions the Red Cross has set up. This blood drive is by appointment only and we appreciate all who have signed up.
  • K-5 Teacher Parade – Postponed
  • BHS Prom – Postponed (With this taking place at the Arena we have the flexibility that other districts do not have.)
  • BHS Variety Show (April 30 – May 1) – Canceled
  • Run the Rails / Buford Open – Both of these events take place in May, so we are not making a decision regarding them at this time.
  • Graduation – No decision has been made on events occurring in May.
Meal Delivery During Closure
Our Nutrition Department will continue with our meal delivery service. Next week they will distribute meals on Monday (2 breakfasts and 2 lunches) and Wednesday (3 breakfasts and 3 lunches). No meals will be delivered during Spring Break (April 6-10). Our meal delivery service will resume on Monday, April 13 using the same Monday/Wednesday delivery schedule.
** To help our nutrition staff plan accordingly, if you plan to receive meals please fill out this short survey. This is just for planning purposes. No one will be turned away if they did not complete the survey. **
  • No one is turned away based on income.
  • The child(ren) that is 18 years or younger must be present to receive the meals.
Meal Delivery Updated Times
COVID-19 Update – March 24, 2020
Aggressive efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 in our community continue as Buford City Schools (BCS) is underway with our second full week of Digital Learning Days. Last week, we rose to the challenge and used our creativity and technology to connect in virtual spaces to continue the teaching and learning in our District. Additionally, BCS staff and volunteers eagerly greeted many of you at our 10 BCS food distribution sites around our District.
Instructional Support for Distance Learning
Digital Learning is well underway, and BCS students and teachers are adjusting to the new reality of these methods. Within this new reality, you may see your student talking with their teacher and other students through our Google Meet platform, participating in live teacher-led lessons, and reading a host of online books through MyON reading.
To give our faculty time to plan accordingly, we have begun a rotation of Teacher Planning Days for our teachers. These days will allow them to have virtual department and faculty meetings, as well as time for planning their Digital Learning curriculum and complete grading. For students, this will allow them a day to catch up on their work or to enjoy reading a book or some (social-distancing) time outside.
The schedule for the Teacher Planning Days during Digital Learning Days are as follows: BES – Monday, BA – Tuesday, BSA – Wednesday, BMS – Thursday, BHS – Friday
School Closure - When Will This End?
I realize this is the most obvious question I need to address. At this point, the honest answer is: I truly don’t know. I acknowledge that other school districts may be projecting a specific return date. In the absence of any clear guidance from state and national officials, I do not feel comfortable guessing when our school doors will open. It has been stated it is highly likely the number of coronavirus cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks. As such, a return to school would be even more unlikely as we are directed, per our community mitigation strategy, to further social distance and self-quarantine. With all that said, I don’t know when we will return to school; but I promise to over-communicate with you as I know more information.
Closure Dates, Spring Events, Community Meetings, and Graduation
We’ve previously shared that Gov. Kemp closed schools through March 31, 2020. Given recent guidance from health officials and governmental actions from various elected officials, the decision has been made that BCS will continue Digital Learning through April 3, with Spring Break following April 6-10. I want to share this information with you now to allow you as much time as possible to prepare for this length of the closure.
During our closure, all previously planned community meetings and events have been canceled. We are evaluating future events on a case-by-case basis and will make decisions in the near future. To the Class of 2020, while we cannot offer any definitive words on what the rest of this school year and graduation will look like, please know that we are cognizant of the importance these senior year events hold. I’m going to take everything one day at a time.
State Suspension of Assessments, Evaluations
State School Superintendent Richard Woods on Monday, March 16, announced the suspension of state assessments, including the Georgia Milestones, as well as attendance accountability measures until further notice. Mr. Woods said school leaders need to be focused on the safety of students and staff and on creating flexible ways to keep virtual learning going. That is exactly what we are doing.
No Kid Hungry
We are proud to have delivered 4,664 meals to BCS students this week. Each day, across 10 stops in our community, we have been delivering a healthy breakfast and lunch. I am eternally grateful for the school nutrition staff, bus drivers, and volunteers who selflessly (and safely) make sure that no kid in Buford goes hungry. For the well-being of our students and staff, please know we are following strict health guidelines in food preparation and delivery; we will continue to do the same going forward as we seek to meet our moral and social responsibility to feed children.
To reduce the health risk to our staff and our families, we are changing our delivery times. On Thursday (March 26, 2020), we will deliver meals for Thursday and Friday, which will include 2 breakfasts and two lunches. Next week, we be delivering meals on Monday (March 30, 2020) and Wednesday (April 1, 2020). On Monday, there will be 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches, and on Wednesday, there will be 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches. This plan will require a little more preparation, so the delivery times have been pushed back by 30 minutes. You can find all the details on the meal delivery flyer. We will not be delivering meals during Spring Break (April 6-10, 2020).
Meals are available to children 18 years old or younger, or 22 years old or younger for those with special needs. Children must be present to receive the meal and be counted for required state and federal recordkeeping. Families are encouraged to pull up with their children in a drive-thru style for service and should remain in their vehicle while receiving their food. Walk-ups are welcome.
Weekly Groceries Available
The North Gwinnett Cooperative is providing families with shelf-stable groceries for the week. For full details, you can click here.
  • Hours for services will change to: Monday 4pm-8pm / Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 10am-2pm / Saturday Noon-2pm
  • Hours for donations will change to: Monday Noon-8pm / Wed-Sat 10am-4pm. (See a list of current needs here.)
These groceries are in addition to our emergency meal distribution and bus delivery of food, which we began last week.

In closing, I thank each of you for your persistence, patience, and understanding. Now more than ever, I am grateful for how each of you continues to support our BCS children and community. Please continue to over-communicate with school staff or me as you have specific needs – we are all here for your success.
COVID-19 Update – March 18, 2020
Digital Learning Days
We have been pleased with how well the start of our Digital Learning Days have gone. As this is unchartered territory, our teachers have done an outstanding job creating quality instruction to connect with their students. Our Curriculum Directors and Digital Learning Coordinator are working with the staff closely to make adjustments and provide support for their efforts. Many of our teachers have commented that the strong support from their parents encourages them; thank you for supporting them!
To ensure that students have “at home” learning opportunities during this time of school closures, Get Georgia Reading and Renaissance are partnering to provide readers free, anytime/anywhere access to digital books and news with myON.
Unlimited, 24/7 access makes it easy for students to continue reading and learning at home. Students can read online using any Internet-enabled device, or read offline with free mobile apps.
• The myON library includes more than 6,400 enhanced digital books, with titles for a wide range of reading levels and in diverse genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels.
• myON News provides five age-appropriate articles, Monday through Friday, on US and world events, arts and entertainment, sports, science, and technology.
Getting started is easy!
1. Go to to login and start reading.
a. School Name: Get Georgia Reading (type the first few letters and select from the drop-down menu)
b. Username: bufordcity
c. Password: read
2. Click the Sign In button and start reading!
Weekday Meal Delivery
The first two days of meal delivery have gone great. Our CO and administrative staff have enjoyed seeing the students at the different delivery sites. We know that these times bring different challenges for every family. Whether there its food-instability, empty grocery stores shelves, or a need to see a smiling BCS staffer, please know that everyone is welcome to these meals. All youth 18 years and younger may receive bagged-meals each weekday. You can click HERE for more information.
COVID-19 Hotline
The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline: (844) 442-2681
Georgia Department of Public Health: “If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic or local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.”
We understand that many will have on-going concerns about how these closures will impact their families; please know that we will not have answers to all of them. Our plans will evolve daily as we begin to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. However, our district will continue to answer as many questions as we can through our emails, website, social media sites, and local media outlets.
We encourage all of our BCS families to continue following the recommended personal hygiene prevention methods. If you begin to feel sick or experience symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately. Our hope is that we can return to our regular school schedule in the near future. Until then, stay safe.
COVID-19 Update – March 16, 2020
In accordance with newly issued federal guidance, Governor Brian Kemp signed Executive Order closing all public elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools in Georgia through March 31, 2020.
Buford City Schools will be closed until March 31. Further guidance will come from the school district in the coming days.

COVID-19 Update – March 16, 2020


Meal Delivery

When we received Governor Kemp’s recommendation to close, our most immediate concern was how quickly we could begin feeding our students who would no longer have access to the healthy meals provided through our School Nutrition Program. I am happy to share that thanks to the quick work of our staff, we received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) to begin feeding students on Tuesday, March 17.


Please know that many thoughtful discussions led to our Meal Delivery Plan, with the well-being and needs of our students as the main focus. I am proud to share that each weekday until schools are back in session, we will be providing a healthy breakfast and lunch to youth that is 18 years old and younger. These meals are available regardless of Free and Reduced Lunch status.


In the hopes of decreasing the burden on families, we are deploying our school buses as mobile delivery units. Each weekday, our bus drivers will load up their bus with meals and stop at 9 sites across our district. We have a team of dedicated drivers and school nutrition professionals who will work diligently to ensure that our students receive a healthy meal. All food preparation and delivery are being conducted in accordance with the Department of Public Health guidelines.


At this time, our meal delivery to students is being run by our staff but should that change and we need volunteers we will reach out to our BCS family.


If you are interested in our Meal Delivery Program, please use this link to find more information and determine which location is best for you.


Additional Food Assistance

Our friends at the North Gwinnett Cooperative have reached out to our community to share additional assistance they are providing. Each family they assist will receive on average 50 pounds of food in addition to gift cards to local grocery stores (while supplies last). Please contact them directly with any questions.


For those who have generously reached out asking where you can be of assistance, please consider donating those resources to the North Gwinnett Co-Op. We partner with them throughout the year as they serve our families each month. You can find specific needs updated regularly on their Facebook page.

Free Internet

With the vast number of closures, some families who rely on internet access at different locations have been halted. This can make digital learning plans difficult, so we want to share options that are available at this time.


Comcast has announced that they will offer 60 days of free internet, waiving the usual $9.95/mo fee, through their Internet Essentials service to help low-income students and families stay connected to the internet during the impacts of COVID-19. Low-income families who live in a Comcast service area can sign up as new customers to receive 60 days of free Internet. According to Comcast, to qualify, applicants must be eligible for public-assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, or SSI. Visit to enroll or call (855) 846-8376 for English or 855-765-6995 for Spanish. 


Charter Communications also announced free public Wi-Fi for 60 days, with Charter offering free broadband for households with students through college age who don’t already have a subscription.


Second Semester Progress Reports

The second-semester progress reports for grades 1-12 will be emailed today. For security purposes, this file is password protected and will expire in 14 days. To open the progress report, you will need to enter your student’s date of birth using the MM/DD/YYYY format (for example 08/07/2005). There must be two digits for the month, two digits for the day, and four digits for the year, as well as a / separating those numbers. If you would like to print a copy you will need to do so before 3/30/2020. We will not be able to offer printed copies until schools resume. If you have any questions about your student’s grades, please contact the teacher(s) directly.


State Testing Suspended

The Georgia Department of Education announced this morning that State Superintendent Richard Woods has suspended state testing (including Georgia Milestones EOGs and EOCs, the Georgia Alternate Assessment/GAA 2.0, and all other required testings) until further notice.

COVID-19 Update – March 15, 2020




In discussions regarding school closures due to COVID-19, one of our immediate concerns is making sure our students stay fed. Our School Nutrition and Transportation Departments have developed a plan to deliver breakfast and lunch to our students at specific stops throughout our district. As we focus on the safety and well-being of our students, providing a healthy meal is a top priority.


If you have a Buford City Schools student in grades PreK-12 (18 years old and younger) in need of a healthy breakfast and lunch during our school closure, please refer to the BCS Meal Delivery Site List below. Please note that you are welcome at any of our distribution sites, regardless of your specific school or home location.


A healthy breakfast and lunch will be delivered at the times listed for each location every day, starting Tuesday, March 17, and continuing until school is back in session. Student must be present to receive meals.


BCS Meal Delivery Site List


Bloom at Buford (Management Office) 9am - 9:30am

Buford Academy 9am - 10am

Buford First United Methodist Church 9am - 10am

Countryside Village (Community & Sales Office) 9am - 10am

Eagle Creek (Parking Lot Closest to South Lee St.) 9:25am - 9:45am

Frenchies (Sudderth Rd & French Blvd) 9:35am - 10am 

Peeblebrook (Gas Plus by Entrance) 9am - 10am

Rose Hill Plantation (Sturgeon Rd & Sturgeon Circle) 9am - 9:20am

Windridge (Management Office) 9:50am - 10am

COVID-19 Update – March 12, 2020


In light of the most recent announcements from Governor Brian Kemp, and consultation with our neighboring school districts and the Georgia Department of Education, Buford City Schools will be closed beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. The district will monitor closely and assess the situation to determine if this closure should be extended past this week. When a date to re-open is determined we will let you know immediately. This decision comes as a result of thoughtful discussions regarding what is best for our students, staff, and families. Schools and offices will be open for our scheduled early release day, tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020, as we prepare for this closure. 


Additionally, all athletic practices and competitions will be canceled beginning Saturday, March 14, 2020, and will resume when school is back in session. 


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation for our district and community. As we have continued to communicate, this is ever-changing and we may need to extend this closure accordingly. We are committed to providing you with information and updates throughout the closure. Look for additional correspondence from me within the near future regarding how we intend to support our students during this closure.

COVID-19 Update – March 9, 2020


Coronavirus:  Information and Guidelines for Buford City Schools

The District Leadership has been maintaining close contact with public health officials and continue to follow their guidance on the health-related developments.  In an effort to keep our students, employees, and families safe, we remain committed to following the most current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) and/or the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).  The following updates will be in effect immediately.


Enrollment of New Students from Identified High-Risk Areas:

Families attempting to enroll a student from areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC and/or the US Department of State, should contact via telephone and/or email their school for instructions related to registration.  


Re-entry of Students Traveling from Identified High-Risk Areas:

Families should inform their school via telephone and/or email if their student has traveled to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State.  The local school will work with the family to determine the appropriate action regarding the re-entry of the child into school.  


Re-entry of Employees Traveling from Identified High-Risk Areas:

Employees should inform their supervisor via telephone and/or email, prior to returning to work, if they have traveled to areas with a Level 3 or 4 Travel Health Notice advisory for the coronavirus, as identified by the CDC or the US Department of State.  

COVID-19 Update – March 5, 2020


Buford City Schools (BCS) is continuing to closely monitor influenza and coronavirus (now named COVID-19) with the professional guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local Gwinnett County Health Department. These are the agencies whose directives we follow about the prevention of disease, injury and disability; promotion of health and well-being; and preparation for and response to emergencies from a health perspective.


You can use these tips to help prevent the spread of flu, the coronavirus, and other illness:

  • Keep children who are sick at home. Don’t send them to school.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow or cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue; throw the tissue away; wash your hands.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


The most up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC website, and according to the CDC, the risk to the U.S. public is low at this time. However, the coronavirus has impacted travel for several countries. If your family has upcoming international travel plans, we encourage you to visit this link for the most current travel advisories.


In BCS, our standard practices during cold and flu season are to use diligent cleaning processes and to monitor student absences. Recently, we have increased and enhanced our custodial procedures. Each day in our schools, frequently used/shared surfaces and items such as door knobs, desks, and computer keyboards will be cleaned, and each classroom and school bus will be supplied with a spray bottle of cleaner that can be used as needed for cleaning. Additionally, we will use foggers in our schools and buses to disinfect those areas not easily cleaned by hand. Please be assured that all cleaning products are safe and approved for schools and do not leave a residue after use. Our administration continues to track student health data and absenteeism on a regular basis so that we can identify the health patterns of our students and staff. We have encouraged school staff to be diligent in referring students to the school nurse if they show fever or flu-like symptoms.


As the Gwinnett County Health Department and the CDC learn more, their guidelines and recommendations may change and adapt. We will continue to rely on their expertise and guidance and will be prepared to take additional steps, as necessary, to keep our school community safe.
Additional Resources: