Cobb County schools announce date of return to face-to-face learning option

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Cobb County schools say some students can return to face-to-face learning beginning next month as COVID-19 cases in the county are trending “in a positive direction.”

The school district made the announcement Thursday on its website and parents can begin choosing the option next week. Parents can also choose to continue remote learning for their children.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the three parameters of community spread, effective contact tracing protocol, and efficient testing timeliness impacting our decision to offer face-to-face instruction have all been trending in a positive direction,” Superintendent Chris Ragsdale wrote.

Parents cant submit the choice for face-to-face or remote beginning at 8 a.m. on Sept. 7 through the ParentVUE portal. The choice portal will close at midnight on Sept. 20.

[COUNTY-BY-COUNTY: Plans for returning to school this fall]

Face-to-face and remote-learning students in the same class will receive the same instruction from the same teacher. School officials say this will prevent disruptions to existing relationships students have made with teachers and will protect teachers from being asked to do two jobs at the same time.

Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose was in Marietta, where he talked to some families who are worried teachers will have too much to juggle with face-to-face and virtual learning.

Parent Beth Edwards wondered how that would work.

“I’m glad we have the option,” Edwards said. “I’m interested to hear how they’re going to work schedules in terms of face-to-face and virtual, since right now, those schedules have been very different.”

Parent Chris Cobb said his family did the best they could with virtual learning, but he’s glad to have the face-to-face option again.

“For our household, having three kids and two working parents, it’s a big sigh of relief,” Cobb said.

Ragsdale said more information about schedules and bus transportation will be coming soon.

Here are the phases and the dates of the phases:

Phase One: All kindergarten through fifth-grade students will return for full-day instruction. ASP will also resume for students in face-to-face classrooms on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. All low incidence pre-K through 12th-grade special education students will be given a face-to-face classroom option during phase one. Phase one will begin on October 5th, 2020.

Phase Two: All sixth through eighth-grade students for full-day instruction. Phase two will tentatively begin on October 19th, 2020.

Phase Three: All ninth through 12th-grade students for full-day instruction. Phase three will tentatively begin on November 5th, 2020. This is a Thursday start date because of Election Day.