DeKalb County Schools pushes back return date for in-person learning

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County Schools is delaying plans to bring students back into the classroom because of high COVID-19 infection rates in the county.

Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris announced during Monday’s school board meeting the plan is pushed back until February.

According to a report sent by Watson-Harris, the county’s positivity rate is nearly 15%. The target for classroom instruction is under 10% positivity.

School officials said they will monitor cases and notify parents and staff when students can return.

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DeKalb County Schools originally announced Dec. 16 that it would return to classrooms in a staggered plan. Families would have the option to choose between face-to-face and virtual learning.

Phase 1 set a Jan. 4 return date for staff. In phase 2, students pre-k through second grade, sixth grade and 9th grade who selected in-person would return on Jan. 19. In phase 3, students in third through fifth grades, seventh and eighth grades and 10 through 12 grades would return on Jan. 25.

After the plan was announced, a group of DeKalb teachers held several protests against the decision.

Teachers gathered at the DeKalb County Schools headquarters in Stone Mountain and lined the street with signs like “Keep Educators Safe” and “I can’t teach if I’m dead.”

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