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Youngest Decatur students may go back into the classroom fulltime

Decatur’s Talley Street Upper Elementary (grades 3-5) may see a return to normalcy when school reopens in August. City Schools of Decatur is considering an option where its youngest students, grades K-6 would go back into the classroom fulltime, with a decision expected to be announced next week. Bill Banks file photo for the AJC
Decatur’s Talley Street Upper Elementary (grades 3-5) may see a return to normalcy when school reopens in August. City Schools of Decatur is considering an option where its youngest students, grades K-6 would go back into the classroom fulltime, with a decision expected to be announced next week. Bill Banks file photo for the AJC

City Schools of Decatur is considering an option where its youngest students, grades K-6 would go back into the classroom fulltime when schools reopen on August 4.

Last month Superintendent David Dude said CSD was mulling over three potential scenarios for reopening. One included all students returning to the classroom everyday where everything, Dude said, “starts as normal with a couple extra precautions in place, like serious hand washing and sanitation and the wearing of masks.”

Another option is returning to a full digital approach, used by Decatur and most school districts nationwide for the final two months last year.

The final option is a hybrid approach, which looks quite a bit different than it did a month ago. This includes bringing back the K-6 students everyday, while 7-12 returns to the classroom in shifts, alternating one week in the classroom and one week online.

“There’s a strong desire to get students back into the classroom,” Assistant Superintendent Maggie Fehrman told the AJC Wednesday. “It’s no question the younger students needed that physical presence the most.”

Fehrman said she had three meetings left before a decision is made, possibly by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

She’s scheduled to meet with a group of health professionals who have children in CSD, with principals and other upper level CSD leadership and finally with teacher representatives from each of the district’s nine schools.

No decision, however, is written in stone. Any chosen scenario could change depending on CDC guidelines and the ceaseless evolution of new data regarding COVID 19.