Fulton County Schools will give families the choice to either send their children to school or to learn online at home.
The district also will delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The board on Monday unanimously agreed to move the first day of school from Aug. 10 to Aug. 17. That will give teachers and staff more time to make preparations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fulton school system is Georgia’s fourth largest school district, with more than 93,500 students. Parents have been closely watching the reopening decision after the coronavirus forced school buildings to close in mid-March.
Superintendent Mike Looney outlined his current thinking during Monday’s board meeting. He said the district plans to open schools for in-person instruction but also allow students from first through 12th grades to enroll in full-time virtual instruction.
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes will only be offered in an in-person setting.
“Everything that we are communicating today is our intent as of today, but it’s completely dependent on what the data says when it’s our turn to turn the first school bell on,” Looney said.
Online registration for the virtual model will be open Tuesday through July 17.
Initially, district officials had planned to require high school students who pick the online option to leave their school and enroll at one of the district’s two alternative high schools.
But on Monday, after hearing feedback from parents, officials said online students could remain enrolled at their high school and register for a program offered through one of the district’s alternative schools.