The group Reopen Our Classrooms Safely earlier this week issued demands they want the school district to implement, including postponing the Aug. 17 start date; publicizing how the district will follow health and safety guidelines and how it will respond to confirmed COVID-19 cases; and addressing how it will provide technology for low-income families who choose virtual learning options. Some of their concerns were addressed in the plan released late Friday.
The group will protest the district's current reopening plan at 6 p.m. July 16. Participants will march from Larry Bell Park at 592 Fairground Street to the district's headquarters at 514 Glover Street in Marietta.
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Millicent Phinizy of Mableton, who has two elementary school-aged children, said earlier Friday the district has not provided any details to help parents choose between their two options for the return to school: Virtual learning from home or a traditional classroom setting. Phinizy also said parents want to know how the district will respond if a child becomes sick and has to isolate at home for 14 days.
“Parents are being asked to make a decision without knowing how anything looks,” she said. “We are actively trying to work these plans out because everybody is just really concerned about the lack of direction.”
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Cobb County School District spokeswoman Nan Kiel said the system is taking the concerns of parents seriously.
“Our team remains focused on the safety and health of our students and staff as we plan for an unpredictable school year,” she said.
RaShawn Swann, another Mableton parent who has a rising junior at Pebblebrook High School, said she would like her son to return to class in a traditional setting, but felt “ill-prepared” to make a decision because the district has not adequately communicated to parents and students about what they should expect.
Swann added she would like the same level of details doctor’s offices and other medical facilities have in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
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Davis said the parents’ demands are a “basic ask” that the district should consider. As a parent of two children, the school board member said she also understands the anxiety and frustration that comes with having to make a decision amid the rise in COVID-19 cases.
“People just want to know if their kids are gong to be safe,” she said.