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Here’s how metro Atlanta school districts are starting the school year

Mary Williams, a parent who is opposed to mandatory face mask requirements, talks with Gwinnett County Public Schools board member Steven Knudsen before the start of the regular board meeting in Suwanee on  July 16. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Mary Williams, a parent who is opposed to mandatory face mask requirements, talks with Gwinnett County Public Schools board member Steven Knudsen before the start of the regular board meeting in Suwanee on July 16. Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

The 2020-2021 school year will begin just like the previous year ended, with many of metro Atlanta’s children learning from home rather than the confines of a classroom. Teachers will check in virtually — via some video conferencing software allowing them to see the dozens of children they would normally engage with through rows or groups of desks.

Rising COVID-19 infections in the state are to blame, as many district leaders began the summer making plans to return to classrooms, only to see the numbers as too dangerous for face-to-face instruction.

The plans are constantly evolving. Gwinnett County Public Schools announced on Aug. 4 it would begin bringing students back for face-to-face instruction on Aug. 26. Fulton County Schools also has announced plans to bring students back for in-person learning after Labor Day.

As of now, several smaller districts will still make a run at in-person instruction, offering parents the option for face-to-face or virtual instruction, or a hybrid of the two.

Atlanta Public Schools

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 24)
  • Teachers: Remote (teachers can work from classrooms with principal approval)
  • Masks: Mandatory

Buford City Schools

  • Learning: Hybrid
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 12)
  • Teachers: On site (teachers can work from classrooms with principal approval)
  • Masks: Other (When social distancing is not possible)

Barrow County School System

  • Learning: Hybrid
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: Both
  • Masks: Other (Encouraged, required in buildings when social distancing is not possible, mandatory on buses)

Cherokee County School District

  • Learning: Hybrid
  • Start: On time (Aug. 3)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Encouraged

City Schools of Decatur

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: Remote (teachers may work from classrooms if they need)
  • Masks: Mandatory

Clayton County Public Schools

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 10)
  • Teachers: Both (teachers must check with principals for individual school plans)
  • Masks: Encouraged

Cobb County School District

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: Both
  • Masks: Expected
ExploreCobb schools announce plan to return to in-person classes

Coweta County School System

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 13)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Encouraged

DeKalb County School District

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: Remote
  • Masks: Mandatory

Douglas County School System

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Encouraged

Fayette County Schools

  • Learning: Hybrid
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Mandatory

Forsyth County Public Schools

  • Learning: Hybrid
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 13)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Expected

Fulton County Schools

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Encouraged

Gainesville City Schools

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: On time (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Mandatory

Gwinnett County Public Schools

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 12)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Mandatory

Hall County Public Schools

  • Learning: Hybrid
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 24)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Mandatory

Henry County Schools

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 17)
  • Teachers: Both
  • Masks: Encouraged

Marietta City Schools

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: On time (Aug. 4)
  • Teachers: Both
  • Masks: Mandatory

Paulding County School District

  • Learning: Hybrid
  • Start: On time (Aug. 3)
  • Teachers: On site
  • Masks: Other (optional)

Rockdale County Public Schools

  • Learning: Virtual
  • Start: Delayed (Aug. 24)
  • Teachers: Remote
  • Masks: Other (n/a)