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Gwinnett announces plans to end school year

Gwinnett County Public Schools came back from Spring Break with plans for closing out the school year.

As promised, Gwinnett County Public Schools came back from Spring Break with plans for closing out the school year.

Perhaps the most pressing detail for the largest school district in the state is that beginning Monday, students will engage in a four-day school week with Fridays off from digital learning. This schedule is in effect until May 8. There will be no new assignments on Fridays. The day can be used to review material taught, make up work or redo assignments, or participate in student activities (such as book clubs, creative offerings, extracurricular offerings, etc.) and family activities.

The district will continue Digital Learning Days through May 20, the last day of school. Unlike other school systems in the state, Gwinnett opted not to end instruction early.

Other highlights:

  • The school district has entered into a partnership with Gwinnett County Public Library to provide students with access to live online tutoring daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Using Tutor.com, students also can receive "drop-off support" 24-7 by uploading a document for tutor feedback that will be reviewed and returned at a later time. (Information at gwinnettpl.com)
  • Gwinnett will offer a one-year waiver to seniors who have met all other graduation requirements except passing the High School Gateway. These seniors will receive a diploma without having to pass the Gateway test.
  • Additionally, International Baccalaureate exams will not be administered. IB diplomas will be awarded based on student coursework.
  • Advanced Placement exams will take place online. Students will take a 45-minute exam online at home for each AP course exam for which they are registered. The exam questions will be designed and administered in a way to protect the integrity of the exam, incorporating a range of digital security tools.
  • All state-required spring testing — including GKIDS, Georgia Alternate Assessments, and the Georgia Milestones End of Grade and End of Course tests — are canceled.
  • Final exams for middle and high school students will begin on Monday, May 11. These online exams will be developed by each school's teachers and course teams. All students in a course at a particular school will take the same final exam.
  • Teachers are not taking attendance each day; however, they are monitoring which students are participating in digital learning and are reaching out to students who are not completing assignments. All student and staff attendance incentives for this school year were suspended on March 10.
  • If the current COVID-19 situation is resolved in time and it is safe to hold summer school, GCPS would offer it primarily to students who had low participation in Digital Learning Days and whose teachers recommend additional help based on the student's limited understanding and mastery of the curriculum.
  • For the class of 2020, the scheduled graduation ceremonies are not able to be held in a traditional manner. However, the district is making plans to hold graduations virtually in May, followed by traditional ceremonies in July if conditions allow. As details become available, they will be shared by local schools.

Schools are working on updating their end-of-year processes and will communicate to families when students will be allowed to access the building to pick up personal belongings or return books or other items to the school.

Gwinnett school officials assured more information will be made available as decisions are made and plans are finalized.