City Schools of Decatur’s new superintendent talks masks, priorities as kids head back to school

DECATUR, Ga — The new school year for the City Schools of Decatur will start on Aug. 3, with a new superintendent, Dr. Maggie Fehrman.

Fehrman sat down with Channel 2′s Lori Wilson to discuss her plans for the district, including mask protocols.

“Our theme this year is stronger together. We will be stronger, so we are engaging with our partners so that we have full wrap-around services for our students that need them,” Fehrman said.

About 5,600 students enrolled in the district, and Fehrman has focused on communicating with parents about the upcoming year through town hall meetings and weekly notes.

“I really welcome parent input and want to hear the voices of our parents, so any email that I get from a parent, I respond personally. Just so they hear my voice and know that they are heard, and I understand what their concerns are,” Fehrman said.

The district is working hard to bridge any learning gaps after last year, including an intensive summer program in June and a lunch pad for learning camp in July to help kids come together and prepare for success, according to Fehrman.

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“Building relationships, getting all the nerves out before the first day of school, and then this group of students will start day one as leaders for other students today,” Fehrman said. “Be able to say, ‘Hey, I see you’re a little shy, let me help you find your way.’ Student leadership is another big initiative that I support.”

According to Dr. Fehrman, unvaccinated students will continue to wear masks, and the conversation continues regarding fully vaccinated students and staff. All schools in the district have certified RNs on staff to make parents and students feel comfortable about in-person learning.

“They are fully trained for contact tracing and when we do have student that may have symptoms, we have rapid testing at the schools,” Fehrman said. “When it comes to extra-curricular activities – game on.”

All the fun activities for the students in the district are coming back, including prom. Dr. Fehrman wants the students to enjoy the school experience, attend football games, cheer on their friends and go to dances where some mitigation strategies will be in place.

“We are really looking forward to an amazing school year where our students are really excelling in their academics but also feel safe and secure and what we always say in the city of Decatur – we want our students to feel safe, seen and successful,” Fehrman said.