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

(Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

Credit: Chris Granger

Credit: Chris Granger

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, the stakes for students taking the Georgia Milestones tests this school year won’t be as high as usual (20% of the course grade), but they won’t be as low as state Superintendent Richard Woods wanted them (.01%). Instead, the state school board proposed this week that the tests should count for 10% of the course grade.

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The proposal now goes to the public for a 30-day comment period before a final board vote. Woods said the tests were a burdensome distraction during the pandemic, but board members were concerned that students would not take the tests seriously if they were seen as inconsequential.

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

Atlanta

• Atlanta Public Schools received a $340,000 donation from Mercedes-Benz USA to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts and to support programs at two schools, reports the AJC. The money will go toward the district’s online learning model, pay for school supplies and other expenses related to the pandemic that forced classes to move online in March.

• Atlanta Public Schools announced limited hours of operation for school playgrounds and athletic tracks that recently reopened, but there are restrictions, according to the AJC.

• The nonprofit Star-C created an eviction relief fund specifically for renters who have children enrolled in Atlanta Public Schools, according to the AJC. The organization has about $136,000 that it plans to disperse to families who have faced financial troubles during the pandemic. Renters can apply for up to $3,200 in rental assistance. Find more resources online.

• The AJC reports that the Metro Atlanta College Access Conference will be held virtually at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The event, which is hosted by the local nonprofit College AIM and the DeKalb Human Services Department’s Office of Youth Services, is intended to provide resources for students of color, low-income students and those who would be the first in their family to go to college. Students and parents can register for the event and view the conference schedule at collegeaim.org.

Athens-Clarke

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that, because Clarke County COVID-19 cases are getting better, school officials are expecting to set a date to return to in-person classes by early next week.

Cobb

• Updated numbers released this week by the Cobb County School District show more than 52% of households (representing 56,284 students) want their children to return to the classroom for face-to-face learning this semester, according to the AJC.

• Small businesses and nonprofits in Smyrna can now apply for grants to help them financially recover from the coronavirus pandemic, reports the AJC. The city’s Small Business/Nonprofit CARES Grant program will provide qualified groups a minimum of $500 in grant funding. The maximum amount that can be given to an applicant is $1,500. The deadline to apply for a grant is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. Applications can be found on the city’s website.

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DeKalb

• DeKalb County will host three drive-thru food giveaways this weekend, handing out 2,500 boxes of food to help residents in need, reports the AJC. Get the locations online.

Macon-Bibb

The Macon Telegraph reports that a Mercer University senior is suing the school is federal court, claiming that she and fellow students were paying for a level of schooling they didn’t get. The newspaper reports that the student is Olivier Williams, adding that she is from Dacula in Gwinnett County.

Grady

• In the Grady County school district, more than 250 students and 21 employees are currently quarantined due to possible COVID-19 exposure, according to the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.

Hall

• There’s a new campaign, dubbed the “hAll in” initiative, to encourage people to socially distance, wash their hands and wear a mask when appropriate, reports the Gainesville Times.

Dow futures slid more than 400 points in response to the news that President Donald Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.

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