We are well into July, which means most parents in the state of Georgia are well into taking care of their back to school shopping needs. Even if the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 is still a concern, it is equally important that kids get back into the classroom. At the time of this writing, Georgia school districts are making plans to reopen safely, while addressing the safety concerns raised by the novel coronavirus. Like or follow the Don Turner Legal Team on Facebook for further updates on Georgia school districts reopening as they occur.
How and When Will My Child’s School Reopen?
The Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Department of Public Health has cooperated to complete a set of guidelines to support school districts, depending on the number of reported coronavirus cases in the individual district. These guidelines are meant to allow Georgia schools to reopen, while ensuring students can enjoy a safe 2020-2021 school year. They are not state-mandated, and school districts will be allowed to use their discretion on how and when to reopen.
At the time of this writing, a number of school districts in North Georgia have announced when they plan to reopen their doors, although not every district has announced how they are planning to reopen. The following school districts have announced some level of plans for reopening:
- Atlanta Public Schools: School begins August 10. No concrete plans for how to handle reopening have been announced at this time.
- Buford City Schools: School begins August 5. Students will have the option of in-person or virtual instruction, and parents will need to make their choice by July 15. Students will be required to wear a mask while riding the bus.
- Cherokee County Schools: School begins on August 3. Students will not be required to wear masks, but teachers will.
- Clayton County Schools:School begins August 3. Students will have a mixture of in-person and virtual instruction.
- Cobb County Schools: School begins August 17, with the option of in-person or virtual instruction. Parents will need to choose by July 22. Face masks will be required for school staff are recommended for students.
- Coweta County Schools: School begins August 6, with online and in-person options. The deadline for signing up for online classes is July 17.
- Fayette County Schools: School begins August 10, with option of virtual instruction or in-classroom instruction for parents.
- Forsyth County Schools: School begins August 6. Virtual classes will be offered for kindergarten through fifth grade students, while grades 6-12 have the option of attending Forsyth Virtual Academy. The deadline for parents to make a choice was on July 10. Students attending in-classroom lessons will not be required to wear face masks.
- Fulton County Schools: School begins August 17. Parents will have the option to register for virtual classes if they are not comfortable sending their kids back to school. The deadline to register for online instruction is July 17.
- Griffin-Spalding Schools: School begins September 8. Lessons will be in-person, but virtual lessons will be available for the first nine weeks of the school year for those uncomfortable sending their children back to school right away.
- Gwinnett County Schools: School begins August 12. Parents were given a July 12 deadline to choose between virtual instruction or in classroom learning. Masks will be mandatory for students returning to the classroom.
- Hall County Schools: School begins August 7. Lessons will be in person, but the district is willing to work with families who are unwilling to send their children back to school on an individual basis.
- Henry County Schools:School begins August 3. Parents will need to decide between virtual classrooms or in-person instruction by July 17.
- Marietta City Schools: School begins August 3, and parents can choose between virtual classrooms or sending their children back to school. Masks will be required.
- Rockdale County Schools: School will begin virtually on August 24. The district plans to shift to a hybrid of in-person teaching and virtual learning on the first official day of school, September 8.
Be aware that these dates are subject to change as school districts continue to figure out how to handle the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Reopening dates have already been modified for a few districts, and other districts are still deciding whether to mandate masks and how to handle other social distancing concerns. Make sure to keep an eye on your school district’s website so you can be certain of when your child’s school will reopen and what safety measures they will be required to abide by.
Reopening Georgia schools in this time of COVID-19 may be a complex and ongoing process, but with parents and students eager to go back to class, be assured that school districts across the state will come to a solution. Make sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page for additional developments on school districts’ reopening plans. And if you or someone you love is exposed to COVID-19, be certain to contact Georgia’s coronavirus hotline at (844) 442-2681.