back to school

With the COVID-19 cases rising, local school districts are grappling with their plans for Back to School.  Gwinnett County voted on Thursday night at their school board meeting to continue with their plan to offer both in-person learning and digital learning to their students.

The state’s largest school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, is the only school district to stick to their plan of offering in-person learning out of the state’s five largest school systems. Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, and Clayton County School systems have all opted to begin the school year with digital learning until the number of infections of the coronavirus slows down.  Atlanta City Schools will also opt for digital learning only to start the school year.

The decision by the school board was not a unanimous one.  School board member Everton Blair opposed the decision saying that he fears sending kids back too soon could have dire consequences as there are just too many unknown factors.  He has even suggested delaying the start of school until after Labor Day.

According to a recent survey sent out to parents of the school district, Gwinnett Public Schools expect roughly 60% of their students returning to receive in-person instruction while 40% have said that they will opt for digital learning.  Gwinnett County Public Schools is slated to begin the school year on August 12, one week later than originally planned.

The latest news coming from the Buford City School district relates to the Class of 2020’s Graduation Ceremony.  In an email sent to the parents and students, the decision has been made to cancel the graduation ceremony that was to take place on July 24 at the Buford Arena.  The school system says that they have based their decision on guidance from the Department of Public Health.

The district says that they are working on an alternative form of graduation for the Class of 2020.  Those plans will be announced at a later date.

Buford’s back to school plans have not changed at this point with the district still planning on offering both in-person and digital learning options with a start date of August 5.  The school system based this decision partially on a parent survey that was sent out in June.  Another parent survey was sent out this week asking parents their level of comfort in sending students back to school.

The Buford Board of Education will have their monthly meeting on July 20 at noon at the Buford Arena.  On the agenda is an update on the Return to Learn plans.  Also on the agenda is their presentation of the preliminary FY21 budget.

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