No live, online classes for Atlanta students on Wednesdays in December

Atlanta Public Schools will not have live, online instruction on Wednesdays during December.  BOB ANDRES  / AJC FILE PHOTO
Atlanta Public Schools will not have live, online instruction on Wednesdays during December. BOB ANDRES / AJC FILE PHOTO

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

Atlanta Public Schools will halt live, online classes on Wednesdays in December as the district prepares to potentially resume in-person learning the following month.

All Atlanta students have been learning in a virtual format since the pandemic prompted school buildings to close in mid-March. Officials are making plans to give students the option to return in January and will hold a town hall event this week to discuss reopening.

For three Wednesdays in December— Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16— live, online classes will not take place. Instead, those days will be reserved for students to work on their own, in small groups or on projects.

Teachers will use the time to plan, connect with other teachers and meet in small groups with students who need extra support, officials said.

ExploreMore stories about Atlanta Public Schools

In a Nov. 20 letter to parents, Superintendent Lisa Herring said the district will hold a town hall meeting Thursday to discuss the plan to reopen buildings.

“Although it may not look like it now, this surge will end and we must continue to prepare our students, staff, and community for the reopening of school buildings,” she wrote. “Based on the advice of experts and guidance we have been leveraging since the start of the pandemic, we are preparing for a January, 2021, reopening of school buildings.”

Later this week, the district plans to send out an updated online “Intent to Return Declaration Form” that asks families to choose in-person or virtual classes for the nine-week period that stretches from Jan. 19 through March 15.

Those forms will be due Dec. 21.

“This is an opportunity for families to change their previous declaration or to declare if they didn’t do so previously,” Herring wrote.

APS first sent out those forms in the fall, when about a quarter of all students indicated they planned to return to in-person learning if given the option. The district had proposed reopening elementary school buildings in October, but decided not to because of rising COVID-19 case numbers.

In Other News