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Atlanta Public Schools to hold town hall, discuss 'approach to reopening'

Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring and administrators will hold a Facebook Live event to discuss reopening plans.

ATLANTA — Parents with concerns about the reopening of schools and those urging Atlanta to do so may have a clearer picture of what will happen in the coming months after a town hall meeting announced on Friday.

Atlanta Public Schools released a message on Friday evening announcing a virtual town hall that will be held on Facebook Live. It will include several administrators including the school system's new superintendent, Dr. Lisa Herring.

The online event will be held on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. EST on the school system's Facebook page. In recent weeks, 11Alive has received messages from parents in the district who are hopeful to see in-person classes resume - at least for some students.

Dr. Herring said she had also heard the concerns of the public and that she and others were listening.

"They've asked very explicitly about pre-k and special ed - that's been on our radar," she told 11Alive on Tuesday. "They've asked for the choice or at least the understanding of knowing when we'll be able to come back to school ... and are they preparing? The answer is yes."

However, the school district, with roughly 52,000 students across 87 schools, has had to work on an appropriate plan for re-entry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Other school districts of different sizes across the state have had mixed results in their reopening processes.

So far, APS has been operating under an all-virtual format after initially looking at various hybrid models of in-person and online learning.

Thursday's meeting will discuss the phased approach APS is taking and which students would return first "if COVID-19 numbers trend down."

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