070820_MNS_full_Herring_sworn_in Lisa Herring and others

Lisa Herring, right, is sworn in by Fulton County State Court Judge Patsy Porter, left, as Herring’s mother and daughter, front center, look on.

Atlanta Public Schools will start the 2020-21 academic year two weeks later than planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Lisa Herring, Ed.D., said in a tweet.

In a July 10 tweet, Herring announced the school year would start Aug. 24 instead of the originally planned Aug. 10 date.

“With safety of students & staff our top priority, I’m recommending @apsupdate begin school on August 24 virtually,” she said. “Aug 3-21 will be “runway for return to learning” & pre-planning.”

Herring also said in her tweet she will to formally announce the plan at the Atlanta Board of Education’s special called meeting July 13 at 5 p.m., when the board is expected to vote on it.

Also, following a Fox 5 news report over the weekend that also stated the district would begin the new school year with nine weeks of online-only instruction and would reduce the number of instruction days by 10, district spokesman Seth Coleman confirmed those items are part of the back-to-school plan.

With the new school year starting in August, school districts across the nation, Georgia and metro Atlanta are struggling with the choices of having in-person instruction, online-only classes or a combination of both.

Herring replaced Meria Carstarphen, Ed.D., as superintendent July 1. Residents reacted to Herring’s tweet with tweets both praising and criticizing the decision.

“Curious on how I’m expected to keep my full-time, outside the home job while also staying home to teach my kindergartener how to use a computer,” one woman said.

One man added, “Bad decision. Kids are so low risk that this makes no sense at all.”

One woman said, “Thank you so much for making the best and safest choice for all stakeholders involved. This is the smartest and safest decision by any county I’ve seen in regard to school opening. Thank you for being so brave.”

One man added, “Thank you for considering everyone’s safety. It’s a hard decision, but the safest.”

To watch the board meeting streamed on Facebook Live, visit https://facebook.com/apsboard/.

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