The district first published its protocols in October. It shared the details on social media recently after parents and staff questioned the safety of reopening schools and asked for clarity on what to expect. A district spokesperson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that everyone must “focus on the mitigation strategies to reduce transmission and prepare for re-opening schools in January 2021.”
Students and staff will be tasked with temperature checks. Schools visitors and activities will be limited to external groups or organizations, the district’s website stated. Schools will also be asked to evenly space out playground use, as well as the arrival and dismissal of students.
Hand washing will be required before and after playground use, and the district is asking students to limit the use of playground equipment.
Custodians will provide the daily routine of disinfecting buildings, but the district stated “they cannot be expected to do this alone.” Staff will be provided with cleaning supplies to clean their workspaces and classrooms after their use.
District officials also said they will increase outdoor air flow rates to dilute contaminates in the school’s ventilation systems.
Reaction was mixed. Some parents on Facebook, like Austin Elementary parent Ellen Emery of Dunwoody, thanked the district for reopening schools. Several others, however, responded unfavorably to the district’s plan.
Although meal plans were not mentioned, teachers have pointed out that the district is planning to have students eat inside classrooms. Several educators criticized this plan because the teachers would have to stay indoors with the children.
District parents and employees have previously mentioned that many aging facilities may not be equipped for a safe return to schools.