Parents threaten to pull kids from Atlanta Public Schools over virtual learning

A small group of parents say they will withdraw their students from Atlanta Public Schools (APS) following the superintendent's decision to continue virtual learning until at least January. 

One Buckhead parent tells us her children are starting to fall behind acadeically.

Virtually learning has been tough for Sarah Smith's first grader Amir Kooshkabadi. His mom believes he and his sister, Yara, who has a learning disability and attends Sutton Middle Scnool, will soon withdraw from the district.

"Since COVID-19, things have declined very fast in terms of my children's progress. I believe some children need to be in the classroom, younger children and children with special needs. I have both," mom Hadeel Masseoud revealed. 


The new superintendent acknowledges, this was a tough decision. 

"Atlanta Public Schools’ decision to remain virtual through at least January 2021 was a difficult decision to make and not one that we take lightly,” said APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring. “We know that some parents disagree with this decision, but we also know that based on the results of our intent to return declaration form, a majority of our parents prefer to remain in a virtual instructional model at this time. Our decision was made after a careful review of COVID-19 health data that is trending unfavorably, in consultation with public health officials and healthcare experts, and based on stakeholder feedback. We will continue our practice of providing monthly health data checkpoints at our Board meetings and we 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 before January 2021."

Masseoud says she has already enrolled her son in a private school and is now working on finding a school for her daughter.

"I have to do what is best for my children and that is why I decided to pursue private school," Masseoud remarked. 

Many of the parents who plan to remove their children are part of a loosely organized group called, "Atlanta Parents Choose." They put up a billboard and yard signs urging the district to reopen and now many of them say they will leave APS.

A district spokesperson said late Wednesday, there is no evidence of a mass exodus, at this point. 

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