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Atlanta Public Schools changes course, will go virtual next week

The school district had been planning to return students to classrooms following Winter Break.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Public Schools announced on Saturday it will do a virtual learning week next week, saying the decision was made "after further review of district and community COVID-19 data."

The school system said APS staff will be required to report to work in person on Monday, Jan. 3 for COVID-19 surveillance testing unless they are already sick.

RELATED: Many metro Atlanta schools update COVID guidelines as students return from holiday break

The district had originally been planning to return students to classrooms in person on Tuesday, Jan. 4 following Winter Break.

The plan is instead to now have students return to classrooms on Monday, Jan. 10.

It's not clear if the district could extend virtual learning - APS said the testing results of staff on Monday, Jan. 3 "will be used for future planning."

The move brings APS in line with many other districts around metro Atlanta that have recently announced temporary virtual learning plans for the return from holiday breaks.

In a release explaining the decision, the district said:

Given the substantial increase in the community transmission rate of COVID-19 for Fulton and Dekalb Counties, and the need to further assess the positivity rate of employees; APS will begin second semester virtually. This will allow students and staff to test, complete needed isolation and quarantine periods in alignment with updated Department of Public Health and CDC guidance and participate in vaccination opportunities. We will continue to monitor data and consult with public health officials as we prepare to resume in-person learning after this time.

APS said students who need to pick up their virtual learning devices can do so at their schools on Monday and Tuesday next week. Students who receive meals can pick up 5-day meal kits on Wednesday, Jan. 5, from 11 a.m.- 1p.m. at the following schools:

  • Carver High School | 55 McDonough Boulevard, SE
  • Douglass High School | 225 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive, NW
  • Garden Hills Elementary School | 285 Sheridan Drive, NE
  • Hope Hill Elementary School | 112 Boulevard, NE
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School | 545 Hill Street, SE
  • Sutton Middle School (Main Campus) | 2875 Northside Drive, NW
  • Sylvan Hills Middle School | 1461 Sylvan Road, SW
  • Young Middle School | 3116 Benjamin E. Mays Drive, SW

Sports and other extracurricular activities will be suspended during the virtual week, APS said.

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