Under phase two, which will begin two weeks after phase one starts, middle school students will go back to class. High school students’ return to in-person instruction will mark phase three, which will start two weeks after phase two is implemented.
Before each phase is carried out, the district will allow parents to choose between in-person classes or remote learning for their children.
Cobb’s announcement comes three days after hundreds of parents, students and community members held a rally demanding Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and the school board allow parents to choose in-person classes for their children when the new year begins Aug. 17.
Cobb County originally planned to offer both in-person and remote learning for its students, but chose the virtual option due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
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“We continue to be committed to re-entering face-to-face classrooms when public health conditions in Cobb County allow,” the school district said Tuesday. “Knowing COVID-19 has impacted each student, family, and staff member differently, we also look forward to offering parents the ability to choose the classroom setting which is best for their family.”
In a virtual town hall held last week, Dr. Janet Memark, district health director for Cobb & Douglas Public Health Department, said Cobb County is experiencing high transmission rates. As of Tuesday, Cobb reported 361 cases per 100,000 people within the last two weeks. Anything greater than 100 is considered a substantial spread, Memark said.
As of late Tuesday, Cobb had 11,981 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to health department numbers. Deaths have reached 303 in Cobb and total hospitalizations in the county stand at 1,320.
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