DeKalb superintendent visits schools as students return to classrooms

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Students in DeKalb County are in their first day back to class -- in person -- since the pandemic started.

We spoke with the superintendent live on Channel 2 Action News This Morning, who said students are on a hybrid plan, so only a few grades are back in the classroom Tuesday, while others start next week.

Virtual learning is still an option for students.

Channel 2 Action News also spoke to parents about the return to the classroom. One parent said she has mixed feelings about sending her student back to school.

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Melisha Bowen says her 6th grade son, Malachi, couldn’t wait to see his teachers and friends at Stone Mountain Middle School.

“My son is very excited to go back to school. I just pray that he’s OK when he comes home,” Bowen said.

However, Malachi is back to virtual learning full time starting Wednesday.

Bowen said she wants him to have one day in class, but she isn’t a fan of the district’s hybrid plan. She said she worried about social distancing.

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“I feel like he should be home with me because he’s not around so many people,” Bowen said. “I’m 100 percent supportive if the school opens back up every day.”

Superintendent Cheryl Watson Harris said she’s visiting schools throughout the day and assures parents they’re following CDC guidelines to everyone safe.

“Our scholars that are back today, this is just a dream come true, and we’re working to keep them safe, keep them engaged, keep joyful about their learning,” Watson Harris said.

After so many protests from educators over the last couple of months, Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway asked the superintendent if teachers would get the option to work virtually like students.

“We are working with our human resources department. We’re working to accommodate staff if they’re eligible for that. We want our teachers to feel confident and safe to come back. We want to provide adequate coverage for our students,” Watson Harris said.

Several grades in DeKalb County will return back to the classroom Monday the 15th.

The superintendent said they will stay on this hybrid plan for now and see where the numbers are in the county at the end of the month before making any changes to their reopening plan.

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