COVID-19 Report: This week’s impact on metro Atlanta schools, governments

Superintendent Richard Woods meets with students at Fitzgerald High School.

COVID-19 is disrupting so much of life that it is difficult to keep up with the news.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has summarized the news of coronavirus cases reported in Georgia school systems and metro Atlanta governments this week.

On a statewide level, Georgia’s top education leader is trying to diminish the relevance of mandatory standardized state tests known as the Milestones after losing a bid to waive the tests, according to the AJC.

These are all fluid situations, so things might have changed by presstime. Visit AJC.com for the latest news on the pandemic.

Atlanta

• Superintendent Lisa Herring presented the district’s phased-in reopening plan this week and some Atlanta Public Schools students could return to classrooms part-time in late October, according to the AJC.

• After two delays, Atlanta Public Schools will try in November to hold commencement ceremonies for the class of 2020, reports the AJC. Recent graduates can fill out an online survey.

• The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved the thousands of COVID-19 test kits and other protective supplies being donated by the state of New York, per the AJC.

Athens-Clarke

• The University of Georgia announced Thursday it will offer a hybrid of in-person and online instruction during the spring 2021 semester, according to the Red & Black newspaper.

• Due to the falling rates, Clarke County School District officials are considering a return to school, reports the Athens Banner-Herald. No date has been determined.

Cobb

• Marietta City Schools has announced plans to bring upper grade levels back to the classroom. The AJC reports that the school system on Monday, Oct. 5 will open classrooms four days a week to students in third through fifth grade and special education students in grades six through 12. Those students will get their lessons done remotely on Fridays.

• Per the AJC: With flu season approaching during a pandemic, the Cobb & Douglas Public Health Department says getting an annual influenza vaccine is more important than ever. For more information about how to schedule an appointment to obtain a flu vaccine, call 770-514-2300 or visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org.

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DeKalb

• Dozens of teachers and parents gathered in a field across the street from the City Schools of Decatur administration center Tuesday afternoon to protest the change in direction for a district where school has meant Zoom sessions and online homework since the fall semester started in August, according to the AJC.

• Per the AJC, free backpacks and school supplies will be given out Saturday at The Gallery of South DeKalb Mall. About 750 backpacks will be handed out to families via a drive-thru in the mall’s parking lot at 2801 Candler Road. The parking lot is accessible from Flat Shoals Road. Parents of children in pre-K to high school are eligible, and they must register in advance at letsmovedekalb2020.eventbrite.com. The supplies will be distributed between 10 a.m. and noon.

Grady

• The Grady County school district has reported 147 children and 22 employees were quarantined this week due to possible COVID-19 exposure, according to the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.

• County commissioners decided last week that football, soccer and cheerleading are returning to Barber Park in October, reported the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.

Gwinnett

• Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett and hunger relief organization Satisfeed are partnering to provide food or health screenings in Duluth for up to 500 families on Saturday, reports the AJC. No pre-registration is required. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of Life Church, located at 4830 River Green Parkway.

ExploreAJC On Campus: Ga. schools take center stage in COVID-19 research

Lumpkin

The Gainesville Times reports that Lumpkin Sheriff Stacy Jarrard in a Facebook video this week warned students at University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus against attending rumored parties at an off-campus housing complex, as it was a problem last month.

Macon-Bibb

The Macon Telegraph reports that the federal government will send rapid COVID-19 tests to Fort Valley State University in Peach County and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

• Monroe County Middle School has become the first in Middle Georgia with a temporary return to all-virtual instruction, reports The Telegraph, because of so many people “affected by COVID-19 diagnoses and exposure.” The newspaper reports that, from Monday until Oct. 19, all classes will move online.

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