Atlanta schools to make in-person learning default option next year



Atlanta Public Schools will make face-to-face learning the default choice for all students next school year, according to district documents.

The first day of the 2021-2022 school year is Aug. 5.

Parents who want to opt out of in-person learning must sign up their child for virtual instruction by May 15. That’s according to documents APS posted online in advance of the school board’s 2:30 p.m. Monday meeting, when leaders are scheduled to discuss plans for next year in more detail.

In a recent blog post, Superintendent Lisa Herring said: “face-to-face instruction will become our main option next school year, but families will have an opportunity to enroll in virtual learning pathways.”

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APS closed schools in March 2020 as the coronavirus began to spread. The district allowed its youngest learners and some special education students the option to return to buildings in January, followed by older grades in February.

Just over 40% of Atlanta students who attend the district’s traditional, non-charter schools are back in school buildings for the final weeks of this year.

Teachers are currently leading classes four days a week. Wednesday is reserved as an asynchronous work day, when all students remain home and learn independently.

APS previously announced it would return to a five-day-a-week schedule next school year. The district also said instructors will no longer teach students in the classroom and online at the same time.

The district will still require students and employees to wear masks in buildings next year.

Monday’s meeting will be livestreamed on the board’s Facebook page.