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Coronavirus update: Decatur City Commission still meeting March 16, County Commission cancels

Avondale Estates Business COVID-19 Decatur Kirkwood Metro ATL Tucker

Coronavirus update: Decatur City Commission still meeting March 16, County Commission cancels

Decatur City Hall
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Decatur, GA – The Decatur City Commission plans to meet on Monday, March 16.

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, the DeKalb County Commission has canceled its meeting set for Tuesday, March 17. Avondale Estates plans to prohibit the public from attending meetings and conduct business via teleconference.

The city of Decatur is making some modifications, but will not bar the public from attending the meeting. The public is encouraged to watch the live stream of the meeting, which can be found by clicking here.

There will be some modifications to the meeting format, however.

“In lieu of in-person ‘Public Comment on Agenda Items’ and ‘Requests and Petitions,’ you may submit questions and comments via email by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16 to Andrea Arnold, City Manager, andrea.arnold@decaturga.com,” the city announced. “The meeting remains open to the public, but extra caution is recommended- especially for vulnerable populations.”

All city-sponsored in Decatur events have been canceled through April, City Manager Andrea Arnold said.

“The City’s Emergency Management team is coordinating with and following the guidance of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), DeKalb Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” the city announced. “While essential public services such as Police, Fire, and Public Works are continuing normal operations, certain community events, meetings, and programs are being canceled and/or rescheduled in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City’s after-school programs have been cancelled pending the status of City Schools of Decatur, and Active Living programs at Decatur Recreation Center and Ebster Gym have been suspended until future notice. Decatur Recreation Center, Ebster Recreation Center, Glenlake Tennis Center and the Oakhurst indoor pool are closed. Updates can be found at decaturga.com as they become available.”

To see a full list of event cancelations in Decatur, click here.

City Schools of Decatur, which is closed indefinitely, is suspending student registration until further notice. Here’s the full announcement from CSD:

All of this information is based on the CURRENT situation and is subject to change. We are erring on the side of communicating quickly rather than perfectly, so anticipate updates and/or corrections. We will issue regular updates via email, our website (https://www.csdecatur.net/covid19), and our other communication mechanisms as more information becomes available.

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We have answers to some questions, not yet to others.

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The close of school is indefinite at this point. We are planning to miss 10 school days, but it is possible the closure will extend further. It is unlikely we will make up the missed school days. Spring Break is still scheduled for April 6-10; if the school closure extends up to or beyond Spring Break, it will NOT impact our Spring Break schedule. Everything is canceled. Expect information from your principal(s) about remote learning resources, retrieving personal property, etc.

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Extracurriculars, school events, field trips

Everything is canceled. We will do our best to reimburse families for funds paid for canceled activities, but we do not have a timeline for completing this work.

New Student Registration

Registration is suspended until further notice. We will reschedule registration appointments when the school district reopens. Please check https://www.csdecatur.net/enrollment for details.

Learning

Instructional staff are using the first three consecutive days of closure to finalize plans for remote learning. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, students will begin receiving reinforcement and/or enrichment activities/tasks. If the school closure extends to and beyond Friday, March 27, a different set of guidelines for remote learning will be shared with students and families.

Special Education and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

Special education teachers and other service providers will collaborate to identify the most appropriate ways to instructionally support students with IEPs. The appropriate teacher(s) will reach out to the families of students directly. Additionally, special education teachers/case managers will communicate with families about IEP and eligibility meetings already confirmed or scheduled to occur March 16-April 3. Some meetings may proceed with participants attending virtually.

Section 504 Plans

504 coordinators will work with teachers to identify resources to provide accommodations for students with 504 plans if feasible. Eligibilities that are currently in progress will resume after school reopens.

Food Services for Students

The Nutrition Department will provide all students the option to pick up two meals a day from Decatur High School beginning Wednesday, March 18. This will allow our staff time to get the necessary food deliveries to begin this service. Our goal is to make sure all of our students continue to have access to food during the extended school closure. These meals will be a cold breakfast and shelf-stable lunch. The program is open to all City Schools of Decatur students. We are unable to extend this meal service to siblings who are not CSD students, parents/guardians, or the general public. Meals will be available for pickup daily 9:00am-11:00am. Students may only pick up two meals (one breakfast and one lunch) per day and may not purchase additional meals. The CSD student must be present to pick up their meal. All meal prices will remain the same as a typical school day and all approved free and reduced lunch applications will be honored. It is unclear whether this is something our students will take advantage of; we will evaluate this program throughout our closure to determine if participation is high enough to continue or require modifications.

Getting Things From School

(Medication, Locker Contents, Learning Materials, etc.)
Individual schools will communicate with families timeframes for picking up material from their buildings. This will probably occur Monday and Wednesday, March 16 and 18.  Families will receive more details directly from the school.

Home Internet Access

We’re aware that some families do not have reliable internet access at home. We do not currently have hotspots to loan to students to support at-home connectivity. However, families have several options:
Comcast announced that their Internet Essentials service is free for new users for 60 days. We anticipate Access from AT&T soon will announce a similar extended free trial period. AT&T is also temporarily eliminating most data limits for their internet service customers.
Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and 21 other telecom providers have signed a “Keep Americans Connected” pledge not to terminate any home internet service for failure to pay bills within the next 60 days, and to make Wi-Fi hotspot service available to customers.
Many cell phone providers enable options for phones to serve as hotspots to provide data connections to other devices, and several service representatives have notified us that cell service providers will ease barriers and costs to enabling this feature. Availability varies by cell provider and phone, so contact your cell service provider for additional information.

Additionally, we invite all parents to visit https://www.csdecatur.net/technologyathome for additional resources around norms and monitoring for student use of technology at home.

Talking with Children About COVID-19
We have provided resources for how to talk to your children about this situation on our site https://www.csdecatur.net/covid19. We will continue to add resources here as they become available.

Assessment

We are in touch with the College Board, International Baccalaureate (IB), and the Georgia Department of Education about testing and are awaiting guidance. IB has extended their deadlines. As of today, no changes are planned for the Georgia Milestones (GMAS) and College Board Spring testing windows in April and May. Students who were scheduled to take the GMAS Math End of Course (EOC) Test in March will be rescheduled to take EOC test at RMS and DHS when school resumes.

If You or a Household Member Becomes Ill with COVID-19

To help us be informed of the spread of COVID-19 in our community as quickly as possible, please promptly notify Lead Nurse Shonda Moore at smoore1@csdecatur.net if you learn that someone in your household tests presumptive positive for COVID-19. Please report who in your household has tested positive along with their relationship to our district (for example, a student, a staff member, a parent of a student, etc.).

What Can the Community Do to Help?

If you have financial or nutrition needs or know of a friend or neighbor who does, please contact the Decatur Education Foundation at https://decatureducationfoundation.org/lightentheload – they are a valuable ally in our support efforts.

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