ATLANTA - Colleges, universities, and public schools across Georgia are taking steps to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus among the student and faculty population.
“If you feel like it’s prudent, educational leaders should consider closing schools,” said Gov. Brian Kemp.
The University System of Georgia announced last Thursday it will suspend instruction for the next two weeks. A decision will be made prior to the end of the two weeks as to how the remainder of the year will be handled by each university.
Students who are on spring break are encouraged to stay away from campus. Those who are not are being asked to leave campus effective Friday. Officials said they are asking all students to remain off campus until March 29.
In a letter to university presidents, Teresa MacCartney, Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia wrote:
"Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all University System of Georgia institutions will temporarily suspend instruction for two weeks to allow time for USG institutions to test their business continuity plans and online instruction modules and for state officials to continue to assess the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.
"Students who are currently on spring break are strongly encouraged not to return to campus. Students on campus are asked to depart campus by close of business Friday, March 13, 2020, and to remain away from campus until March 29, 2020. At this time, students are not being asked to move out of their dorms for the remainder of the semester. For students who are unable to leave campus, please establish a mechanism to safely accommodate those students on campus.
"Please activate your relevant business continuity plans and ensure the operation of online instruction should that become necessary. Further guidance will follow as the situation warrants."
The Atlanta University Center which includes Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, and Morehouse School of Medicine, will suspend in-person classes through the end of the academic year, according to AUC officials. Morehouse College employees will work remotely, including executive staff. The college also decided to move to online classes starting March 23 and has canceled all events through April.
Here is how each school district responded to Gov. Kemp's call-to-action:
Atlanta Public Schools:
APS Superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen announced on Twitter that the Atlanta Public Schools system will be open on March 13, but will close for approximately two weeks beginning March 16. The closure could possibly last beyond Spring break.
Barrow County Schools:
Schools will be closed for two weeks beginning Monday and will re-open Monday, March 30. There will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events, or field trips during that time.
All activities scheduled for this week will continue and all staff who are scheduled to report Friday should continue to do so.
Schools and buses will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected during that time.
“We ask our families to wash backpacks, coats, and jackets as soon as possible as well,” the district wrote in a statement to FOX 5 News.
The schools will be adding additional online resources to allow learning from home.
Bartow County Schools:
Schools will be closed Monday until March 27. Students will return to school Monday, March 30.
Butts County Schools:
A decision will be made and announced on Friday.
Carroll County Schools:
Carrol County Schools will close beginning Monday, March 16 for a "possible two-week period." Friday, March 13th will remain a regularly scheduled Teacher Work Day.
Chattooga County Schools:
Schools will be closed Monday through March 27. Students should return on March 30 unless directed otherwise.
Cherokee County Schools:
Schools and offices will be closed for two weeks starting Monday through March 27. Those days will be Digital Learning Days.
The district is not closing Friday to allow time for students and staff to retrieve needed materials, however, absences will be excused without academic penalty and with the ability to make up missed work if parents decide to keep their child home.
All activities including athletics and extra-curricular, including Georgia High Schools Association events, are canceled effective immediately. All field trips are canceled or postponed as well as special events.
After School Program will be held on Friday and the SAT testing will continue on Saturday as planned.
All off-campus activities will be canceled until school is reopened.
Custodians will be cleaning down the schools during the next few weeks.
The district is working with the state to provide to-go meals for those on free or reduced lunches.
Clarke County Schools:
Schools will be closed for the week of March 16. Parents should check with their schools on Thursday for additional instructions.
No extracurricular activities, sports, school events, or field trips will take place next week
Central Office staff, principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, and high school department chairs need to report to work on Monday.
Clayton County Public Schools:
All schools will be closed starting Monday until further notice.
Cobb County Schools:
Cobb County Schools officials announced all schools within the system will be closed indefinitely, starting Monday, March 16. According to a Cobb County Schools spokesperson, teachers will work remotely and students will participate in online-based learning.
Dade County Schools:
Students and teachers should report Friday. Schools will be closed Monday until March 27. Digital Learning will be conducted during this time.
Dawson County Schools
The district will update parents, students, and teachers on Friday.
City Schools of Decatur:
City Schools of Decatur schools will be closed indefinitely beginning March 13, according to school officials. In a statement released to FOX 5, officials confirmed, "students are not to report to school and all extracurricular activities are canceled. All employees should check their CSD [City Schools of Decatur] email this evening for additional information. According to CSD, students will receive online learning materials.
DeKalb County Schools:
Students should not report Friday as it was a scheduled teacher’s workday. Teachers will work to finalize an online learning strategy.
The DeKalb County School District will be closed as of Monday until further notice. More information will be shared before Monday about how students will continue to learn.
In addition, the district said it is working to figure out how to provide emergency meal service for students who rely on free or reduced lunches.
Douglas County Schools:
According to Douglas County Schools superintendent Trent North, all schools and school system offices will be closed beginning Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. All students and employees will return on Monday, March 30.
Elbert County Schools:
The district will meet for an emergency meeting on Friday at 9 a.m. for a response to Gov. Kemp’s call-to-action.
Fannin County Schools:
Students and teachers should report Friday as normal. There will still be a 2-hour early release and parent teacher-conferences will take place as scheduled. Starting Monday, schools will be closed for one week.
Fayette County Schools:
Officials in Fayette County said students should not report for classes on Friday, but all staff, excluding bus drivers and monitors, should report. No word on classes beyond Friday.
Floyd County Schools:
Schools will close for staff and students through March 25. Classes should resume on March 26.
Forsyth County Schools:
Friday is a professional learning day; students should not report. Schools will close Monday for two, but students should adhere to the Online Learning Days plan. Schools should reopen Monday, March 30.
All events and activities, including school events, extracurricular activities, school-related trips, community school events, and facility rentals, are canceled as of 6 a.m. Friday.
Students will be allowed to retrieve any items from school on Friday during normal hours.
Franklin County Schools:
The district will hold a meeting at 9 a.m. on Friday to discuss a response.
Fulton County Schools:
Fulton County Schools announced Friday will be a workday for teachers and staff. Students should not report for classes on Friday. Beginning Monday, both students and staff should not report until further notice.
Gilmer County Schools:
Schools will be closed for a week starting Monday.
Gwinnett County Schools:
Friday is a teacher in-service day, so students should not report. Monday, GCPS will hold Digital Learning Days through March 20. During this time, teachers should work from home. All other employees will be given instructions on Friday.
All school activities are canceled as of 6 a.m. Friday until further notice. This includes all school events, extracurricular activities, school-related trips, community school events, and facility rentals.
Parents should check on March 19 for further announcements.
Habersham County Schools:
Schools will be closed Monday through March 27. Parents will be notified if more time away is required.
The “Learning from home plan” will begin for students on Tuesday and parents can find out more on the school district’s website.
Friday and Monday are teacher workdays, so students should not report.
Hall County Schools:
Hall County School District will be in session Friday, but the district will conduct school from home the week of March 16 through March 20, officials said.
District officials said they will make a decision regarding the extension of school from home beyond one week by the end of the business day on March 19.
Haralson County Schools:
The district will remain open on Friday but will close starting Monday through April 7.
Friday, students will be handed assignment packets and directions for virtual classwork for the upcoming weeks.
Heard County Schools:
Schools will be open Friday to allow for teachers and students to prepare and grab the necessary supplies. All schools will be closed March 13 through March 29.
Henry County Schools:
Schools and facilities will close starting Monday for at least two weeks.
Remote learning will soon be in place to allow students to continue their courses using their district-issued device or printed materials. Teachers will also have online office hours.
Cleaning of all district properties will take place during that time.
Jackson County Schools:
Schools will be closed starting Monday. It will reopen Monday, March 30. During this closing, there will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events, or field trips. Distance-learning plans are in place and a technology survey is posted on each school's website.
Lamar County Schools:
There is a normal schedule for Friday. Further plans will be shared by the end of the week.
Lumpkin County Schools:
Students and staff should report Friday. Starting Monday, schools will be closed for at least one week.
Madison County Schools:
Schools will be closed for two weeks starting Monday. Classes should resume on March 30.
Monroe County Schools:
Students do not need to report Friday. Teachers should report for an in-service day on Friday. This will allow the district to prepare materials for students should classes need to be canceled beyond Friday.
All Georgia High School Association events and MCMS athletic activities have been suspended until the close of business on March 27 effective immediately after the completion of games Thursday evening.
All out of county field trips, out of county competitions, and out of county club activities from March 13 until March 27 will be canceled.
Morgan County Schools:
Schools will be closed for one week starting Monday. Parents should check in on Thursday for updates.
Oconee County Schools:
Schools will be closed for two weeks starting Monday. Classes will resume March 30.
There will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events, or field trips during that period.
Oglethorpe County Schools:
Schools will be closed for two weeks beginning Monday. They will re-open Monday, March 30. During this closing, there will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events, or field trips.
The Oglethorpe County Recreational Department has announced that they will follow the same schedule as Oglethorpe County Schools. All practices and sporting events will be canceled until March 30.
Schools and buses will be cleaned and disinfected. Parents should wash backpacks, coats, and jackets as soon as possible as well.
Digital and distance learning will be announced soon.
Paulding County Schools:
Schools will close starting Monday until at least March 30.
Pickens County Schools:
Schools will be closed Monday through Friday, March 27. Parents should check on March 26 to see if additional time is required.
Students should attend school Friday to receive instructions.
Pike County Schools:
Schools will be closed Friday for cleaning. A decision on future classes will be made during that time.
Polk County Schools:
Schools will be closed Monday through March 27. Friday is a teacher workday.
Rockdale County School
Friday remains unchanged. Schools will be closed starting Monday through March 27. During that time, students are expected to participate in Independent Learning Days
Rome City Schools:
Officials with Rome City Schools confirmed classes for March 13. Classes are canceled starting Monday and will resume Monday, April 6. The teacher in-service day scheduled for March 27 is also canceled.
All district offices will be closed and employees will only be expected to report if notified.
Flexible learning will take place through March 26. Grades K-2 have assignment packets sent home. Grades 3-12 will receive digital classroom content from teachers.
Students who wish to receive meals can do so at any campus from 10 a.m. until noon on March 16, 28, 20, 24, 25, 26.
All extracurricular activities are canceled through April 6.
Social Circle Schools:
Schools will close for two weeks starting Monday. During this closing, there will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events, field trips, etc.
Schools and buses will continue to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
Students will be expected to continue their studies at home.
Walton County Schools:
Schools will be closed starting Monday for up to two weeks. There will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events, field trips, etc. during this time.
Schools and buses will be cleaned and sanitized
Students should be prepared to utilize home-based learning through Schoology and other resources depending on grade level and class. Additional information on digital and distance learning will be provided in the next few days.
White County Schools:
Schools will close Monday and remain closed through March 20. Parents should check March 19 for further directions.
Students will be given information and materials on Friday to continue their instruction through the upcoming week.