ATLANTA - Atlanta Public Schools students will not be headed back to the classroom anytime soon. The district has decided to postpone all reopening plans for in-person learning until January 2021.
APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring said the decision comes after monitoring recent COVID-19 data provided by the state.
“Despite downward trends in recent weeks, our community has seen recent increases in new cases, resulting in a current average that exceeds 130 new cases per 100,000 county residents,” the superintendent wrote on her blog. “That number leaves us in substantial spread of COVID-19 and unable to reopen to in-person instruction.”
Students enrolled in APS schools will continue their current model of learning for now.
“Given this current information and careful consideration, we will continue with the current virtual model until at least January 2021,” the superintendent wrote on her blog.
Dr. Herring acknowledged those students with special needs, promising they are exploring different ideas.
“We also continue to explore ways to support our most vulnerable learners, particularly our low-incidence special needs population and our youngest students, including their potential return to some in-person services prior to January 2021,” Herring wrote.
The superintendent said she consulted with teachers, staff, students, families, and public health officials in making the difficult decision writing:
“There are three schools that had more than 60% of students declare their intent to return in person. All three of these schools were elementary schools in the North Atlanta cluster, Brandon, Jackson, and Smith. We had 16 schools where less than 20% of students declared their intent to return in person. As a cluster, North Atlanta had the highest percent of students declare in person with 42%, compared to the Mays cluster, with only 19%. I should note that for the 16,200 families that did not return the forms, their forms defaulted to site-based virtual instruction.”
Meal kits for students will continue 7-days a week for both breakfast and lunch with distributions each Monday beginning October 26, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. from one of the 14 curbside pick-up locations or designated school bus routes listed at www.atlantapublicschools.us/Page/63224.
The superintendent said athletic teams will continue to compete.
Herring said she is fully prepared to brief the board at the next meeting on Nov. 2.
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