Atlanta Public Schools announces dates for potential reopening

Atlanta Public Schools announced dates for a proposed reopening of buildings, starting late next month. Students in prekindergarten through second grade as well as some special education students would have the option of resuming face-to-face learning on Jan. 25. Students in third through sixth grades, ninth grade and 10th grade would return on Feb. 1. Following that, students in seventh, eighth, 11th and 12th grades would come back on Feb. 4. Families would still have a choice to keep their student in virtual learning instead, according to the district website

Atlanta Public Schools announced dates for a proposed reopening of buildings, starting late next month.

According to an updated plan posted on the district’s website and in a video Thursday, students in prekindergarten through second grade as well as some special education students would have the option of resuming face-to-face learning Jan. 25.

Students in third through sixth grades, ninth grade and 10th grade would return Feb. 1. Following that, students in seventh, eighth, 11th and 12th grades would come back Feb. 4.

Families would still have a choice to keep their student in virtual learning instead, according to the district website.

Superintendent Lisa Herring also discussed the plan at a Thursday town hall.

Atlanta students have been learning online since mid-March, when the district first closed school buildings.

Previously, district officials said one of the leading indicators in assessing whether it’s safe to reopen school buildings is the local incidence rate, or how many cases per 100,000 residents there are over a 14-day period. APS officials previously said that number should be below the 100-case threshold to reopen schools.

The Fulton County rate was 308 cases per 100,000 residents on Thursday.

In mid-October, APS backed off a plan to reopen schools. At the time, the Fulton County rate was about 140 cases per 100,000 residents. Instead of reopening this fall, officials said they would delay a return to classrooms until January, at the earliest.

On Thursday, Herring said the district will continue to watch that number, but is also focusing on how schools can mitigate risks through measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing.

“For now, it is important to note it is our goal to move towards a reopening,” she said.

The district is once again asking parents to submit an “intent to return declaration” that indicates if students will continue to learn online or if they will return to classrooms. The form is due Dec. 21.

In Other News