Clayton County elementary school shifts to virtual learning due to COVID

Clayton County Schools to help the housing insecure

Clayton County Schools to help the housing insecure

Kay Pace Elementary School of the Arts in Clayton County will pivot to virtual learning on Thursday.

It’s the sixth time this month a school in the district switched to online learning because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The south metro Atlanta school system said Wednesday that Jonesboro’s Pace will remain virtual until Sept. 2 and parents can pick up breakfast and lunch meals at any other Clayton County school.

The news comes as schools across metro Atlanta have seen a spike in COVID-19 positive cases because of the highly contagious delta variant. As of Monday, area school districts reported nearly 4,000 cases.

In recent days, Clayton County said Kendrick Middle School in Jonesboro and Church Street Elementary School in Riverdale were switching to online. Students in those schools are expected to return to classrooms on Aug. 30.

Kemp Primary School switched to virtual for part of last week and have returned to in-class learning.

Two other schools — Pointe South Middle School and North Clayton High School — began the academic year virtually because of COVID-19 related illnesses. Both are back to face-to-face instruction, a schools spokesman said.

Clayton County Schools was among districts to begin the year with a mask mandate. Children under age 12 are not eligible for vaccines.

“Our children are getting the virus from those persons who are not vaccinated,” Superintendent Morcease Beasley said Wednesday during a YouTube Live discussion.

As a result, the district is evaluating all schools every day to determine the impact of positive cases and whether remote learning is necessary.

“We do not take the decisions to move to virtual learning lightly,” Beasley said as he encouraged residents to get vaccinated and to wear masks to protect others.