DeKalb teachers are back in school, but students are still online

Credit: Courtesy of DeKalb County School District

Credit: Courtesy of DeKalb County School District

Teachers in the DeKalb County School District are back in their classrooms this week, but students are still learning virtually.

Ahead of the change, the district released a video of what to expect as teachers conduct remote classes from their classrooms instead of their homes.

Southwest DeKalb High School teacher Kristina Parish is shown praising her students for their response to virtual learning. She has been teaching virtually from her classroom this semester, which began in January.

“Things are looking good at the school, I’m enjoying being at the school,” Parish said. “Even though this isn’t a normal environment, we’re working towards getting back to it.”

The district has been virtual-only since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and officials have not said when in-person learning will begin again. School staff returned to buildings on Wednesday to prepare classrooms for the pending start of face-to-face learning.

Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris recently told parents that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that classrooms can reopen if communities embrace safety measures.

District officials initially said they would wait until there are fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 residents prior to reopening. Later, officials said they would reconsider reopening if the two-week positivity rate drops below 10%, which has yet to happen either.

In a response to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution records request, the district said that 541 employees and 144 students have tested positive for COVID-19 from July 1 to Jan. 28.