Cobb, Marietta release reopening plan for 2020-21 school year

Credit: Marietta City Schools

Credit: Marietta City Schools

Cobb County and Marietta City school systems will ask parents to choose between traditional, face-to-face instruction and continuing to learn from home when school resumes in August.

Cobb County parents will have to choose in-person or virtual class on July 2-10 through the district's ParentVue system. Parents who choose the traditional option will also be asked if they want their child to ride the school bus.

Parents who select remote learning will have to certify to the school system that they have a computer and an internet connection and that they will commit to following through with this option for the first semester.

The Marietta school system plans to send out information for parents who want to register for virtual learning. Parents of kindergarten through eighth-grade students have to register their child by July 8. That deadline to register will be July 10 for high school students. Parents choosing the virtual option will also have to commit to sticking with this choice through the end of the semester, Rivera said.

Parents in either district who choose the virtual classroom route must commit to stick with that choice until the end of the first semester.

The first day of school for Cobb County School District is Aug. 3 while Marietta City School students will go back on Aug.4. Both districts closed their doors in March due to the pandemic, but implemented digital learning programs so students can continue their lessons.

Cobb Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said the system will encourage but not require, masks on school buses and in school buildings, and will enforce social distancing guidelines. Cobb schools will have hand sanitizing stations throughout each school and will do “daily and rigorous cleaning” throughout the buildings.

Marietta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera said the system will also recommend, but not require, masks for students. Faculty and staff members will be required to wear masks in common areas like cafeterias and areas where they are around large numbers of students, such as hallways.

The Cobb school district said Thursday that plans to offer parents a choice of how to return to school “represents the best solution which balances our two most important priorities: the health and safety of our students and staff and flexibility for each student and family.”

Ragsdale said Thursday during the Cobb School Board meeting that he’s been talking with other school superintendents about how they will proceed with reopening. Ragsdale said parents should not take variations in school districts’ plan as one being “better than the other.”

Rivera also told the Marietta School Board Thursday that “significant health and safety guidelines” will be in place for students, faculty and staff who will return to school in about six weeks.

“I believe our children’s education is too important to patch this thing together based on what’s most convenient for a school district,” he said.

Both superintendents said each system's plan could change if state Department of Public Health guidance changes.