GWINNETT COUNTY — The Gwinnett County School System, the state’s largest school district, announced plans to gradually transition students back to in-person learning. This plan is but one of many plans the school system has tried to put into place in regards to getting students back to school this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, the district had plans to allow parents to choose between sending their children to schools for in-person learning or to allow them to select their digital learning platform. Then as new positive cases of the virus continued to climb, the district announced plans to go fully digital to start the school year. The school system has faced backlash over that decision with parents and students protesting at the district’s central office demanding that they be given the choice for in-person learning again.
“We have stated from the beginning of the COVID crisis that in-person instruction for every student is what we prefer and would work to achieve,” Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks told parents in a letter sent to them on Tuesday. “That remains our primary objective, and is the focus of this letter. We will begin to implement in-person instruction for students whose parents desire it, and do so as soon and as safely as possible.”
Gwinnett County Schools will start their school year on August 12 and will be fully digital learning at that point. Some students will be allowed to return to schools for in-person learning beginning on August 26 with all students whose parents opt for in-person learning may return to the classroom by September 9.
Those allowed to return to school on August 26 are students in kindergarten, 1st grade, 6th grade, 9th grade, and some special education classes who have a self-contained class. On September 2, students in 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 7th grade, and 10th grade may join the students that returned to in-person learning on August 26. The remainder of the students may return to in-person instruction on September 9.
The school system told stakeholders that these dates are subject to change based on the current COVID-19 conditions at the time.
— Staff Reports