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Decatur Schools, citing uncertainty about students returning this fall, considers staggered schedule

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Decatur Schools, citing uncertainty about students returning this fall, considers staggered schedule

Oakhurst Elementary School.
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Decatur, GA – City Schools of Decatur isn’t certain whether students will be allowed to return to school this fall.

In an update to parents, the School District signaled it is considering a staggered schedule for students.

“Our priority is to ensure our students and staff are safe, and our preference is that we open the next school year with normal, in-person instruction,” the School District’s update said. “However, that may not be possible, and we are creating contingency plans for such scenarios. Depending on restrictions in place at the start of the new school year, those scenarios might include running a staggered schedule for students to physically attend while they continue with online learning at the times they are not physically present, or operating fully online (with improvements we have identified during this unexpected online learning experience). Examples of staggered schedules may mean splitting the day between morning and afternoon or coming to school on alternating days.”

The school district said if a staggered schedule becomes necessary, the district would have to consider maximizing work time for parents by ensuring all of their children are on the same staggered schedule. The district would also determine how to work with teachers whose children also are in school but whose children may not be on the same schedule or attend school in other districts. The district would have to identify ways to help students and teachers who are considered part of the “vulnerable population” and find ways to support a hybrid environment so all students aren’t doing the same thing at the same time. Then there’s also the need to enforce social distancing on school buses.

“It is also possible we will return next year under more normal circumstances but with enhanced health protections in place, such as mandatory wearing of masks,” the District said. “Many of these options will need to be adjusted for different ages of students, and we are considering those implications as well.

“Over the next three months, we will continue monitoring conditions, consulting with appropriate experts, and communicating what we are learning and planning on a regular basis. The environment can change very quickly, and we will do our best to keep you informed and provide advanced notice of plans. We will all need to continue being nimble, flexible, and patient as we continue learning how to accept the uncontrollable in a world we prefer to control.”

To read the full update from CSD, click here.

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