In some COVID-stricken Georgia schools, virtual learning is the new norm

Due to coronavirus cases and quarantines, multiple school districts across Georgia are switching to virtual learning. (Christine Tannous / christine.tannous@ajc.com)

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Due to coronavirus cases and quarantines, multiple school districts across Georgia are switching to virtual learning. (Christine Tannous / christine.tannous@ajc.com)

Credit: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In metro Atlanta, in-person classes continue across districts, except for a small number of classes and schools.

But outside of Atlanta, multiple school districts — at least 19 — temporarily shut down, pivoted to virtual learning or put in hybrid plans within days of opening classrooms. In some cases, football games and other extracurricular activities are being canceled or postponed.

Some districts say the high number of coronavirus cases and individuals in quarantine created staffing shortages. The state has seen a surge in coronavirus cases due to the delta variant and low vaccination rates.

The situation is so dire for Johnson County Schools that the district is shifting to virtual learning until mid-September.

“We have 32% of our student population in quarantine and 30% of our school staff in quarantine,” the district said in a statement on Tuesday. “Our staff shortage is an issue to ensure the safe and orderly operation of our schools.”

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While some districts are sending students home for a week or two, the Screven County School System is shutting school buildings on Thursday until after Labor Day “out of concern for the health and safety” of students and staff.

The Ware County School District chose to suspend school operations altogether due to the number of cases and quarantines. Students aren’t scheduled to return to school until Sept. 7.

Some districts are quickly switching to remote learning. But others, such as Burke County, are not offering live sessions.

“Just as we have done for students in quarantine, teachers will share lessons, activities, and assignments through Google Classroom,” said a statement on the district’s website.”

Here’s a look at what’s happening around the state:

Burke County Public Schools

Action: School district closed for two weeks, effective Aug. 16-27

Ben Hill County School System

Action: Switched to virtual learning, effective Aug. 13-27

Action: Fitzgerald High School football game scheduled for Aug. 20 rescheduled for Sept. 17

Clay County School System

Action: Switched to virtual until Aug. 27.

Crisp County Schools

Action: Switched to virtual learning, effective Aug. 16-20.

Dade County Schools

Action: Switched to remote learning from Aug. 18-20

Emanuel County Schools

Action: Switching to alternate learning schedule, Aug. 23-Sept. 10

Under the plan, students will receive face-to-face instruction two days a week.

Glascock County Consolidated School

Action: All students switched to virtual learning, effective Aug. 9-12

Action: Varsity football game for Aug. 20 canceled

Jeff Davis County Schools

Action: Schools closed to students Friday and the following two Wednesdays for cleaning

Action: Schools operating with student rotation schedule for two weeks beginning Aug. 23

Johnson County Schools

Action: Shifted to virtual learning, effective Aug. 17-Sept. 13

Long County School System

Action: In-person learning suspended, effective Aug. 19

Action: Virtual learning begins Aug. 19; will be evaluated after Labor Day

Macon County School System

Action: Switched to virtual learning, effective Aug. 16-27

McIntosh County

Action: Optional attendance for students, Aug. 18-20

Action: School buildings closed for cleaning, Aug. 20-24

Action: “Pause period” planned from Aug. 25-Sept. 3; details to be announced.

Randolph County School District

Action: School district closed, Aug. 10-23

Action: “Teachers will deliver instruction to students both virtually and in-person”

Screven County Schools

Action: School buildings close, Aug. 19-Sept. 7

Action: Teachers will post assignments on Google classroom Aug. 23-Sept 1

Talbot County School District

Action: Schools closed, Aug. 6-12

Taliaferro County Schools

Acton: Switched to virtual learning, Aug. 4-27

Telfair County School District

Action: Switched to virtual learning, Aug. 18-27

Turner County Schools

Action: Switched to virtual learning, Aug. 17-Aug. 27

Action: Middle and High school special education students in self-contained classes will be virtual until Aug. 27

Ware County

Action: School operations suspended until Sept. 7

This story has been updated.