Gwinnett expects most students to return to classrooms in August

Students arrive at Gwinnett Online Campus in Lawrenceville on Thursday, April 23, 2020 to pick up their caps and gowns for a virtual graduation ceremony next month. Middle and high school students whose families chose online learning next year will be concurrently enrolled in Gwinnett Online Campus. HYOSUB SHIN / HYOSUB.SHIN@AJC.COM
Students arrive at Gwinnett Online Campus in Lawrenceville on Thursday, April 23, 2020 to pick up their caps and gowns for a virtual graduation ceremony next month. Middle and high school students whose families chose online learning next year will be concurrently enrolled in Gwinnett Online Campus. HYOSUB SHIN / HYOSUB.SHIN@AJC.COM

Only 4,006 of the 177,000 students in Gwinnett County Public School are opting for online learning in the 2021-2022 school year.

“For all intents and purposes, we’re back to full in person instruction in the fall,” said Al Taylor, associate superintendent for school improvement and operations, to the school board on Thursday.

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About 40% of Gwinnett students are learning remotely this semester as the coronavirus pandemic drags on. Families were given an April 4 deadline to opt out of in-person learning next year.

Of the students whose families chose virtual learning next year, 1,383 are in elementary school, 1,076 in middle school and 1,547 in high school, Taylor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Teachers next year will not give classes to in-person and virtual learners simultaneously. The district is planning to use federal COVID-19 relief funds to hire online teachers for the digital learners, Taylor said.

All students will remain enrolled at their local schools, giving them the opportunity to participate in sports and extracurriculars, Taylor said.

Elementary school online classes might combine students from different schools, Taylor said. Middle and high school students will enroll concurrently at their local schools and Gwinnett Online Campus, which will give the classes.

Next year’s online learning will be a mix of real-time classes and independent work.

Some specialized courses and classes impacted by staffing or scheduling constraints will only be offered in person, Taylor said.

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