Renfroe Middle will transition to virtual learning for two days next week due to COVID-19Beacon Hill Middle, formerly known as Carl G. Renfroe Middle School, City Schools of Decatur, W. College Avenue.
This story has been updated.
Decatur, GA — City Schools of Decatur students returned to in-person learning this week and on Thursday announced plans to close Renfroe Middle School and switch to virtual learning next week.
Here’s the initial letter sent to parents about the closure:
Dear Renfroe Parents and Guardians,
The RMS Admin team met with Superintendent Dr. Fehrman today to discuss the path forward for Renfroe as we manage the increased staff absences we are experiencing due to COVID. We came to the conclusion that Renfroe Middle School will implement full-virtual teaching and learning on Monday and Tuesday, January 10th and 11th. Tomorrow, Friday, January 7th we will continue teaching in-person.
I’m communicating this information to you now so you can begin planning. I will send much more information about our plan later today.
Thank you for your understanding.
Principal, Renfroe Middle School
Wiseman on Thursday afternoon sent a follow-up letter providing more details about what occurred.
“Renfroe has reached level 4 in our COVID Crisis Staffing Plan due to unfilled substitute requests,” he wrote. “While our teachers and central office staff have stepped up and covered classes as needed, we have reached the point where we need to switch to full-virtual learning for a short time.”
According to the district’s COVID Crisis Staffing Plan, level four is reached when there is, “Insufficient staffing is available to ensure safe operations can continue on a district-wide level.” That means there are 20 percent or more unfilled teacher absences.
Any student that needs breakfast or lunch may come to the school to have a meal, the letter says and the letter includes a lunch schedule for each grade.
“We understand that this is an inconvenience for our community,” Wiseman’s letter concludes. “Thank you for your patience and understanding during this critical staffing situation. Parents, please take this opportunity to get your child to get vaccinated or boosted. Also, if your child is unvaccinated and or showing even mild symptoms, please take this opportunity to get your child tested for COVID.
“We will continue to assess the staffing situation and communicate with our community as soon as possible regarding the learning format for Wednesday, January 12, and beyond.”
CSD followed the trend of most other school districts in the country by reopening for in-person school after the holidays. However, Atlanta and DeKalb County Public Schools started the semester virtually with plans to return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 10.
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