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Atlanta charter schools to open virtually starting next week

Drew Charter School will start the year with virtual classes on Aug. 3.
Drew Charter School will start the year with virtual classes on Aug. 3.

Credit: Vanessa McCray

Credit: Vanessa McCray

About two dozen charter and partner schools authorized by Atlanta Public Schools will start the year with online-only instruction, with the first schools beginning classes next week.

About 13,000 of the district’s 52,000 students attend charter or partner schools. Those schools operate with more autonomy than traditional APS-run schools, however they will follow the district’s lead by starting the school year with virtual-only classes.

APS officials announced earlier this month that because of the pandemic, school buildings would remain closed and teachers would hold online classes for at least the first nine weeks of the year, or until there is a minimal or moderate spread of the coronavirus.

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Superintendent Lisa Herring also recommended pushing back the first day of school from Aug. 10 to Aug. 24, a change the board of education is expected to approve at its Monday meeting. Herring has said that the delay will give teachers more time to prepare and for schools to connect with families.

Charter and partner schools set their own calendars, and several will start the school year earlier than the district-run schools.

The first to return is Drew Charter School, which enrolls about 1,880 students. Drew’s first day will be Aug. 3.

APS announced the following back-to-school dates for charter and partner schools:

Drew Charter School: Aug. 3

Wesley International Academy: Aug. 4

Westside Atlanta Charter School: Aug. 10

KIPP schools: Aug. 17

Atlanta Classical Academy: Aug. 24

Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School: Aug. 24

Centennial Academy: Aug. 24

Kindezi schools: Aug. 24

Purpose Built Schools: Aug. 24