Third grade at Fulton County elementary school pivots to remote learning

Fulton County Schools announced a third grade class is switching to remote learning this week. (File photo)

Combined ShapeCaption
Fulton County Schools announced a third grade class is switching to remote learning this week. (File photo)

The third grade class at Summit Hill Elementary School is switching to remote learning this week due to a “high volume” of COVID-19 cases, according to Fulton County Schools.

The district recorded five positive cases among all Summit Hill students and staff in its latest COVID-19 data report, which spans Aug. 27-Sept. 2. During that time, 68 staff and students were recorded as having direct contact with an infected individual.

ExploreAs COVID surges, metro Atlanta parents seek virtual school options

Overall, the district has documented nearly 2,600 COVID-19 cases since the start of the school year, including 675 cases last week. The latest report said 25,465 staff and students had direct contact with another employee or students who tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

The district deems an entire class or bus a potential contact when at least one individual tests positive for the coronavirus.

Summit Hill third graders are scheduled to resume face-to-face instruction on Sept. 14, the district announced on Twitter. “If circumstances dictate additional steps, we will notify the school community immediately,” the statement said.

ExploreFulton County Schools drops plan for mask-optional campus

The move to virtual learning is happening at a time when coronavirus cases are surging due to the highly contagious delta variant and low vaccination rates in the state, according to health officials. Children under age 12 are not yet eligible for vaccines.

As of last week, confirmed COVID-19 cases among children were at their highest point of the pandemic, according to health data.

Fulton County Schools began the school year on Aug. 9 and required masks at all but 15 schools in Johns Creek. Within days it extended to mask policy to all facilities due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

ExploreCOVID-19 surge presents host of challenges for school chiefs

But the mask mandate was met with outcry and protests from some parents. The district then proposed a mask-optional campus, but recently dropped the plan due to a lack of interest.

Earlier this month, three grades of students at three different Fulton County schools temporarily pivoted to remote learning: Sixth graders at Crabapple Middle School in Roswell; sixth graders at Sandtown Middle School; and first graders at Ocee Elementary School in Johns Creek.

The district had previously switched the eighth grade class at Camp Creek Middle School and the fifth-grade class Lake Windward Elementary School to remote learning temporarily.