DeKalb County students returning to classrooms for in-person learning

Almost a year after last setting foot in a classroom, some DeKalb County students are back learning in-person Tuesday.

After a series of delays, pre-K, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, sixth grade, and ninth-grade students can return to classrooms Tuesday morning. Grades three through five, 11, and 12 will be able to start on Monday, March 15.

In a poll, about 40% of DeKalb County parents said they were ready and wanted their students to head back to class.

The district says they've been putting as many safety precautions in place as possible along with following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - including adding signage, hand sanitizer stations and distributing PPE.

School officials told FOX 5 that they're just gearing up and doing what they can to keep everyone safe.

"There are other 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, so we are ready and there is no sense in us just holding them back we want to provide the optionDeKalb County Schools Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris said.

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The school district says they are putting away some funds from the CARES Act just in case they need to purchase additional items to keep students and staff safe.

The district has attempted to begin in-person learning twice this year, once at the start of the New Year and once at the start of February, but the coronavirus case numbers were too high at the time. In late February, the state's positivity rate fell below 10% for the first time since November.

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.

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