Their 14-year-old son contracted Covid-19 at summer camp, even though both he and the camp took precautions, Zack Davies said. The guidance says schools should only close as a “last resort” in areas where coronavirus cases are extremely high, a designation that as of early November included only a handful of communities across the state. “Because I had to delay for the air filtration, I think I ended up better,” Tomazic said, noting that other districts in New Jersey that rushed to open have been forced to close repeatedly because of outbreaks or staff members quarantining. Reopened for special education classes first on Nov. 16, and plan to reopen for other students Dec. 14, Virtual, hybrid or in-person? 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What has emerged is a patchwork of strategies that reveals lessons about what works — and what doesn’t. Gwinnett County, Georgia, didn’t even make it to the beginning of the school year before it had serious coronavirus problems amid Gov. Horry County, S.C., where some 45,000 students enroll in schools in towns including Myrtle Beach, has used FLVS for about a decade to supplement course offerings. What has emerged is a patchwork of strategies that reveals lessons about what works — and what doesn’t. Who are the power players, and how are they driving politics and influencing Washington? There’s no blueprint for how or whether to open schools during a pandemic, leaving districts across the country to draw up their own. Until then, here’s what schools can learn from districts that have forged ahead on their own. Georgia Gov. Frustrated parents worried about the quality of distance learning have criticized the limited access to instruction and slow pace of reopening, but Marten pointed to districts across the country that have had to close because of outbreaks, saying that could be more disruptive than it’s worth. The district plans to open that to older grades this month. Georgia, one of the first states to reopen, is now struggling to control the coronavirus as students return to school and the state's death toll hits record highs. Date closed for in-person classes, date reopened: Closed March 16; reopened Sept. 14, Virtual, hybrid or in-person? But that target reopening timeline aligned precisely with a second wave of coronavirus cases, sending the city backpedaling. The result was a plan that launched in November to test all students and staff every two weeks, regardless of whether they have symptoms. Superintendent L. Oliver Robinson said the remote learning option unveiled over the summer adhered to requirements under state guidance to accommodate populations vulnerable to Covid-19 — specifically students and family members in high-risk groups. ", In a letter to parents, the school district said it's important to take precautions seriously and keep schools open ", The school district recognized "there will be. The guidelines will likely not be the last word on how Georgia should resume classes for the 2020-2021 school year. “There were so many things unknown, still very much unknown, that we didn’t want to come in with ‘this is the end all, be all on this,’” Robinson said in an interview. Across town, Raye Lynn and Pete Fuller also want to keep their two children home. (CNN)Amber and Zack Davies know too well how easily children can get coronavirus. Charlie Baker, a Republican, issued new guidance in November that recommended school districts rely on hybrid learning instead of fully remote classes in communities where coronavirus transmission is considered to be high by the state. “I was worried I was getting behind, and now I realize I’m ahead,” he said. Ninety percent of Brewer’s students chose to come to school for the part-time in-person lessons. Virtual, hybrid or in-person? Brian Kemp has pushed for students to return to school in the fall, but the state's largest system, in … CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has answers. By Associated Press , … “You’ve got to figure out a way to stay open once you open, not flip flop back and forth.”, Where: The Mehlville School District, St. Louis, Number of students: About 10,000, pre-K-12. Reopened with a hybrid/staggered schedule model Sept. 22 for grades pre-K-2, Oct. 6 for grades 3-5, Oct. 8 for grades 6-8 and Oct. 27 for grades 9-12. Virtual, hybrid or in-person? In school districts where classrooms are reopening, In districts where students will learn remotely from home, parents worry about. Phil Murphy ordered schools shuttered as cases began to soar in the New York-New Jersey region. Or what has worked at least sometimes. "For the most part, our community trusts the leaders in Jefferson City Schools to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students and staff," McMullan said. Superintendent Gregg Palmer said the plan to help them get through the pandemic was: “Wear your masks and return to school with a hybrid model.”. Thousands more students enroll in a hybrid model where they are on campus for two days each week and take classes the rest of the time through the district’s version of Florida’s online courses.“It’s not easy to turn on a dime and develop hundreds of courses,” said Edi Cox, Horry County Schools’ executive director of online learning. That has revealed lessons of its own: While the district estimates up to 12,000 students qualify for the initial phase of instruction, they’ve only been able to serve about 3,000. Seven additional cases popped up by Nov. 22. "My biggest concern is he catches something and then brings it back to my wife," Zack Davies said. In early November, Otott and North Paulding Principal Gabe Carmona announced plans to stick with a hybrid schedule and delay the campus’ planned expansion of in-person instruction until after Thanksgiving break — citing a “concerning number of new Covid-19 cases” in the high school’s community. (WTXL) — School districts across the Big Bend and South Georgia have announced tentative dates for when schools will reopen for the 2020-2021 school … The district shifted to hybrid schedules at four high schools and its largest middle school in September, in an effort to cut the number of students in those buildings by 50 percent at a given time. Having the mix of in-person lessons and online classes turned out to be especially useful when the entire high school of about 700 students was shut down by the state’s public health agency days before Thanksgiving. ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 16: General view as Ciara Surprises Amazon Future Engineer Students at Paul Duke STEM High School on December 16, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Pictures showing students shoulder-to … “Increasing in-person instruction at this time would not be prudent,” they wrote to families. Officials also shut in-person instruction at one the district’s elementary schools for at least part of this week, after administrators said Covid-19 cases discovered during Thanksgiving break put “a large number” of students and staff into quarantine. Date closed for in-person classes, date reopened: Closed March 17. Other districts are giving families — and teachers — a choice in the matter, leaving it up to individuals if they want to reenter classrooms. Georgia's governor says he thinks the reopening of schools has gone “real well" — except for the widely shared photos of students crowded together without masks on. “And we were saying, ‘We're looking at that, but we don't want to fully reopen and then have cases go up and have to fully shut down.’”. He’ll test 20 percent of in-school students weekly and close buildings on a school-by-school basis. 08/10/2020 03:53 PM EDT . The district encourages students and staff to wear masks but says face coverings are a “personal choice” and not required. School districts have reported drops in enrollment declines this fall, which could explain some of the online school growth. "They're going to open the floodgates wide open," Amber Davies said. And it's scary.". This model came in handy when the district saw its first case. Closed for in-person classes Nov. 16 for grades 9-12 until Jan. 5, largely because of workforce shortages, and closed Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 for grades K-8 to allow time for symptoms to show from transmissions over Thanksgiving break. August 4, 2020 at 4:48 AM EDT On Wednesday, teachers in Georgia’s largest school district returned to elementary, middle and high school campuses to … The district started to bring back students in phases, with special education classes returning first and the rest of the district scheduled to be back at 50 percent capacity as of Dec. 14. We conducted the survey as school districts either announced or are preparing reopening plans for the 2020-2021 academic year. Florida students, too, are taking advantage of this homegrown option. Brian Kemp’s push to reopen schools … A photo of a Georgia school’s reopening has gone viral for its lack of social distancing and COVID-19 safety precautions. they’ve only been able to serve about 3,000, district Superintendent Brian Otott, who declined a request for an interview, told parents, Paulding County as one of the state’s “high transmission” areas, Covid-19 cases discovered during Thanksgiving break put “a large number” of students and staff into quarantine. Date closed for in-person classes, date reopened: Open all the time. August 6th, 2020 at 4:45 PM School reopenings during the novel coronavirus pandemic continue to be a problem, and reports from Georgia’s first week of school … (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) The Associated Press Raye Lynn Fuller jumped at that chance and plans to keep her kids learning virtually. Those who qualify are struggling academically or are special education students who need “intense support.”. "I recognize there are feelings of apprehension, considering schools have been closed since March 16, 2020. Georgia school officials released guidelines Monday on how to reopen the state’s public schools for the 2020-2021 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic. 12/02/2020 04:30 AM EST . The groups initially were created based on alphabetical order but also took households into consideration to make sure that parents were able to arrange child care plans. The upstate New York school district released a draft reopening plan in July that prioritized in-person learning for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. "And looking around at the data in the area, with the infection rates what they are right now, there's no way we can see that they can keep not only the kids safe, but all the staff, the adults (safe). Here's a list of schools in Central Georgia who have plans for returning in the fall, and those who don't Author: 13WMAZ Staff Published: 3:42 PM EDT July 10, 2020 After conducting contact tracing, fewer than 10 people had to self-quarantine while the rest of the school remained open. Number of students: About 1,600 students: Just under 1,000 students in K-8 and about 700 students in high school. Georgia's governor says he thinks the reopening of schools has gone “real well" — except for the widely shared photos of students crowded together without masks on By JEFF MARTIN and JEFF AMY Associated Press August 10, 2020, 3:23 PM • 4 min read Viral photos of packed hallways made North Paulding High School and its northwestern Georgia school system the topic of a national conversation over the summer. The reopening plans in Georgia come within the context of the Trump administration loudly pushing for the reopening of industries, businesses and schools in … Georgia Students Pack Hallway Without Masks, Superintendent Downplays GA School Reopening Kids Crammed in the Hall ... 'No Practical Way To Enforce' Mask Mandate. “Our idea was that we knew that there were going to be ups and downs in terms of case numbers, so we wanted to pick a model that would allow us to have the fewest number of times that we had to alter our structure for kids,” he said. School officials have said they plan to reinstate in-person learning for all high-needs students when the city’s positivity rate remains below 5 percent for two consecutive weeks and begin the phased-in return to classes for other students when the rate falls below 4 percent for two consecutive weeks. The district returned to in-person learning with a hybrid model that’s been bumpy, upset by the latest Covid wave.