Fulton County Schools will shift some schools to virtual classes, also called remote learning, this week due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

In a news release, the district also announced its plan on when students would return to in-person instruction once the winter break, which starts after classes Dec. 18, ends in January.

First, Superintendent Mike Looney opted to switch all high schools to online classes Dec. 16 through 18.

“Wednesday through Friday are already half-days due to final exams, and with the higher number of recent cases occurring at the high school level, the decision was made to switch to remote learning until the end of the week,” the release stated. “North Springs (Charter) High School, however, will begin remote learning on Tuesday, December 15, due to the impact of quarantining and staff absences. Schools will communicate schedule details regarding those days.”

Second, five of the district’s elementary and middle schools are also shifting to virtual instruction this week due to a rise in coronavirus cases and staff quarantines, meaning those schools have advanced from Level 1 to Level 2 on its closing matrix. Those schools are: Renaissance and Evoline C. West elementary and Hopewell, McNair and Webb Bridge middle.

Third, the district is implementing a two-week transition that starts remotely for staff and students and ends with in-school learning.

During the week of Jan. 4 through 8, second-semester classes start Jan. 6, with Jan. 4 and 5 serving as teacher workdays/student holidays because many schools are being used as election polling sites in the Jan. 5 runoff. All pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students will have online classes Jan. 6 through 8.

During the week of Jan. 11 through 15, middle and high school students will participate in virtual instruction Jan. 11 and 12, and elementary students will return to school to face-to-face classes on those days, if they chose the in-person learning model for the second semester. Jan. 13, all students (except those who chose online instruction) will come back for face-to-face classes.

Fourth, as it did regarding the Thanksgiving break, the district is encouraging students and employees to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to school or work if they have traveled out of the state or the country during winter break, participated in any large gatherings, suspect being exposed to the virus and/or have/had flu-like or COVID-like symptoms.

Jan. 2, the district will again partner with CORE to host drive-up testing sites at two district locations: one in north Fulton and one in south Fulton. Those sites are to be announced. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/380IQLK.

Parents whose children undergo testing are reminded to make a report to the district’s parent (student) COVID-19 reporting portal. Employees are asked to email covid@fultonschools.org (with their phone number) if they have a positive result, are still awaiting their test results or have had direct contact with someone testing positive.

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