FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A spokesperson for Fulton County Schools said Friday that the Superintendent wants to skip Phase 2 of their re-entry plan and move directly from Phase 1 to Phase 3 -- which would put kids back in classrooms sooner than expected.
The board is set to discuss the plan on Tuesday, but an official decision has not been made.
The school year in Fulton County began August 17 with all-virtual learning. On Tuesday, the district plans to re-enter under Phase 1. In Phase 1, kids in pre-k through 2nd grades will have the option to return to class for 90 minutes one day a week and special education students can return for three hours.
Phase 2 would have allowed all students in the district to come back for a half-day a week, but officials announced Friday that the phase would be scrapped.
In Phase 3, students will have the option to be back in the classroom for one full day per week.
The district spokesperson said the plan would be predicated on a continued week-to-week decline in positive cases of COVID_19.
On Thursday, Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik got a first-hand look at the changes in place in classrooms at Lake Forest Elementary School in Sandy Springs, where teacher Morgan Ogea is preparing to welcome back first-graders for the first time in about six months.
“We are excited to have the students to come back,” she said. “It’ll be great to build that community with them in person.”
Ogea said she will have about four kids in her class at a time.
“We’ve all tried very intentionally to arrange our rooms in a way that students will be able to maintain that safe distance, but we’re still very much in the classroom together,” she said.
Lake Forest Principal Taylor Barton said the goal is to help kids reacclimate to the school environment, or in some cases, get acclimated to it for the first time if they are in pre-K or kindergarten.
“Learning doesn’t happen if relationships aren’t built, and we’re focusing in on that first,” he said.
Parent Jennifer Normanly told Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik she’s ready to get her son Jack, who has special needs, back to his classroom.
“Jack, his learning style is very hands-on. A teacher can’t provide that through a computer screen,” she said. “I feel like certainly, they can implement safety measures to keep all the children safe.”
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