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DeKalb County School District announces what's included in next phases of reopening plan

DCSD plans on moving to the second phase of its reopening plan when there are 100 or less cases per 100,000 residents in a 14-day period.

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County School District is giving parents a look into what the next portions of its phased reopening plan will look like for students.

On Tuesday, the district said Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris and her team presented the updated plan during Monday's board meeting.

DCSD plans on moving to the second phase of its reopening plan when there are 100 or less cases per 100,000 residents in a 14-day period.

According to a map on the Georgia Department Of Public's Health's website, DeKalb's cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks stand at 122. The map below shows the numbers reported on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Credit: GA DPH

In phase two, students will remain in virtual learning with staff transitioning a hybrid environment - working in buildings for two days out of a week and remotely for the remaining thee days.

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Before transitioning to the third phase, 2nd, 6th, and 9th graders will have one day of face-to-face instruction to allow school staff an adjustment period before fully implementing phase three with all students.   

“The safety and well-being of our scholars is a top priority for the District. All plans are contingent on less than 100 cases per 100,000. The data is in anticipation of the risk of being in the safe zone," Superintendent Watson-Harris shared with the board. "Parents will have the option of continuing virtual learning, and the district will continue to communicate with families as we move forward in the phases."

As for sports, the district plans on taking a phased approach as well; participation will be voluntary, with face coverings required.  

The district said it is launching a second survey to receive feedback on the possibility of reopening. Focus groups will be held with administrators, teachers and other stakeholders. 

The plan is fluid and subject to change based on data and stakeholder feedback.The next assessments are expected to be presented during board meetings on Oct. 19, Nov. 9, and Dec. 7.

The Georgia Department of Public Health shows that DeKalb has the fourth highest number of cases reported since the start of the pandemic. Counties ahead of DeKalb are Fulton, Gwinnett, and Cobb.