For Atlanta, it marks a significant shift since the coronavirus pandemic first closed school buildings in March 2020.
“Sixty percent of our scholars have not been physically present in our school buildings this past year,” said Superintendent Lisa Herring at a May 20 town hall.
About a third of students returned to campuses starting in late January, when APS began to reopen buildings. By late March, the number inched up, but still only about 41% chose to learn in-person.
Parents who wanted their children to remain in virtual classes next year had to sign up by mid-May. A district spokesman said APS will not allow students to switch from in-person to online learning now that the deadline is passed.
Those who selected virtual classes are committed to that learning model through the first semester.
The highest virtual numbers are in middle and high school grades. Experts have said older children may have an easier time managing online work than younger students who need more hands-on guidance from teachers.