The superintendent, who said the plan is “responsive” to how the virus is spreading in Cobb, added the district will implement frequent outside breaks, adjust HVAC equipment to provide greater ventilation and allow staff to deliver meals to classrooms to reduce the amount of time students need to be in the hallways.
Rivera said the system’s plan would be offered in addition to the full virtual learning option that’s already in place.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health officials will join Tuesday’s meeting to discuss with school board members the latest information about the coronavirus pandemic in Cobb County. As of Monday, Cobb had 13,729 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. The county has had 320 deaths caused by the virus and 1,393 hospitalizations, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
READ | Marietta schools offer childcare for teachers during remote learning
“Words cannot capture my degree of gratitude for each of you,” Rivera said in the message. “Whether we agree or disagree on if or how our schools should open for in-person learning, one thing is certain: in the history of our school district, our families have never been so involved in their child’s education. Thank you for joining us as we meet this moment together. Our children need us now more than ever.”
Marietta City Schools, which has just under 8,900 students, began the school year with virtual classes on Aug. 4. The system’s unveiling of its school reopening plan came a week after Cobb County schools released its own proposal to do a phased approach back to in-person classes. It also follows news of COVID-19 cases cropping up in Cherokee and Paulding County schools, which both opened for virtual and in-person classes last week without a mandate for students to wear masks.
North Paulding High School, which entered the national spotlight last week when an infamous photo of students walking in a crowded hallway went viral on social media, also moved to virtual learning this week after six students and three staffers were diagnosed with COVID-19. Paulding’s school officials plan to allow students to return on Wednesday after the buildings have been cleaned.
READ | Five Marietta schools employees test positive for COVID-19
Gov. Brian Kemp said Monday he would not implement a statewide masks requirement for public schools, adding he believes local superintendents should make those decisions for their districts.
“We’ve given the responsibility to the schools, to the local superintendents,” Kemp said. “Like most things in education, I’m a firm believer that the local governments know their schools better than the state government does.”
Marietta City Schools work session on Tuesday will be broadcast via Zoom. The passcode to watch the meeting is 382413.
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