CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Many Clayton County Public Schools students will be given the opportunity to return to the classroom in April.
Teachers and students in Clayton Count have been working remotely since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, Superintendent/CEO Dr. Morcease J. Beasley hosted a YouTube Live message giving updates about the district's next steps.
"April 12, it is our plan if the vaccination distribution goes as planned, if we continue to see decreasing numbers, make no mistake, we will be returning our Pre-K through 5th grade students back to our facilities for the first two weeks starting April 12 on a hybrid model, thereafter five face-to-face days a week until the end of the school year," he said.
All district personnel and employees at the elementary grade level will return to facilities on March 22 and students will learn online as staff engages in training. The week of March 29 through April 2, personnel will provide virtual instruction from school buildings.
Beasley said starting April 12 through April 22, the district will have a hybrid model of learning for Pre K through 5th grade students, where students will be split into groups and will attend face-to face instruction on certain days. He added that 6th through 12th graders in self-contained low-incidence special education classrooms can also return to class during this time period.
Others in grades 6th through 12 will continue to work virtually and the district will provide an update at a later date on when they can return to face-to-face instruction.
The district has developed a survey for Pre-K though 5th-grade parents for them to share their learning options. It was launched Tuesday and will be open until the end of March 10.
Beasley said it would be sent to parents through an email. He pointed out that for parents who don't complete the survey, it will be assumed that their child will return to face-to-face instruction.
Students who will learn virtually and those who will return to class will have the opportunity to learn simultaneously.
"So that means parents, for those of you who decide to send your children back to school face to face, and those of you who keep students at home virtually the teacher will be doing virtual instruction for those who are at home and also, for those who are in the class room will be logged onto their Chrome books to participate in instruction. It's what we call a simultaneous learning model."
He is urging parents to complete the survey as soon as possible.
"I need you to make sure you complete the survey, remember elementary for every child you must complete the survey so we will know exactly who wants to return face to face and who plans to remain virtual. Your schools will need that information."
In the meantime, the district has refurbished the North Jonesboro Center - which is at the central complex office - to use as a secure location to help get teachers vaccinated. Nurses have been trained to support the vaccine site.
"We have a full month almost of March to do our best to get as close to 100 percent of people vaccinated who are willing to get vaccinated," Beasley said Tuesday.
Safety guidelines will be in place for those who are returning to facilities.