DeKalb County Board of Education discusses plan to re-open schools

Board member Stan Jester explained the possibilities for re-opening for the 2020-2021 school year.

The options are broken into three levels of community spread: substantial spread, minimal/moderate spread, and low/no spread.

If there is a low spread or green designation, students will go back to traditional learning.

For minimal or moderate spread, the yellow designation, the plan is a hybrid model.

They'll continue with virtual or online classes if there is a substantial spread. This is the red designation.

"It's more or less guidelines. We don't know exactly how we are going to operate," Jester explained.

The board discussed the plans during a virtual meeting Monday afternoon.

"We have a new superintendent coming in but I expect us to be full or almost full face to face come August," he told FOX 5's Brian Hill.

Jesters said he’s concerned with the effectiveness of online classes.

"There are a lot of budgetary issues with virtual learning. Virtual learning is challenging," he mentioned.

However, some parents are not ready to send their kids back into the classroom.

"I don't think it's safe," Tavia Franklin Moore, who has three children in DCSD, explained. "I don't think we have enough measures to enforce. Kids aren't really into social distancing. I think it's very hard for them to be in that situation."

The school district is following recommendations from the Department of Education and the Department of Public Health.

There are nine focus areas that play into the district's decision.

They include practicing prevention, how to serve meals, and protecting vulnerable populations.

"It's going to be done on a school-by-school basis. The school district, the board, and administration will decide on the learning model for the traditional school. Each charter school will be given these models and it will be up to them to decide how to implement them," Jester said.

There are more than 4,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in DeKalb County. That's the third-highest in the state.

Jester said he's not sure when school leaders will make a final decision on re-opening their facilities to students.