DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The final group of DeKalb County students who want to go back to school for in-person learning will be able to head back to class.
Monday, students in grades three through five, seventh and eighth-graders, and grades 10 through 12 can return.
"We are ready and there is no sense in us just holding them back," DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris says. "We want to provide the option."
The district says they have been putting as many safety precautions in place as possible. Along with following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DeKalb schools have added signage, hand sanitizer stations, PPE, and other measures to try and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"I'm not pretending that we are not going to have challenges, and issues and problems, but we are set up to be able to deal with them in a structured and strategic way," Watson-Harris said.
Last week, pre-K, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, sixth grade, and ninth-grade students were able to return to the classroom. Watson-Harris said this option could help students who had trouble learning at home.
"Students who have expressed struggles keeping up with their AP assignments or some of our differently-abled students, that just the quality of their services has not been the same in a remote space," she said.
In an earlier poll, about 40% of DeKalb County parents said they were ready and wanted their students to head back to class.
Any parents who feel uncomfortable sending their children to school will still have the option of continuing to have them learn virtually. Employees who qualify for accommodation under the Americans with Disability Act will have the option to telework, but in order to do so, they must complete an application and provide medical certification.
Between Feb. 27 and March 5, the county saw 776 confirmed cases of the virus - a drop from the week before's number of 1,014, Georgia health officials said.
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