ATLANTA — Students in the Atlanta Public Schools system won't be heading back to in-person classes at all in 2020.
The district announced it will delay plans for a return to face-to-face learning, at least until January 2021.
It an online post, Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring said the decision came after community coronavirus data began to trend in the wrong direction.
"The decision to further delay the in-person opening of our schools was difficult," Herring wrote. "But after consulting with our teachers, staff, students, families, and public health officials, I decided this is the right approach at this time."
Herring said the district consulted with public health officials, healthcare experts and stakeholders to make the decision.
"Despite downward trends in recent weeks, our community has seen recent increases in new cases, resulting in a current average that exceeds 130 new cases per 100,000 county residents," she explained in the post. "That number leaves us in substantial spread of COVID-19 and unable to reopen to in-person instruction."
Herring said the district would continue to "explore ways to support our most vulnerable learners," including a potential return to some in-person services for those students before January.
"We know there are differing opinions across families and communities regarding this decision," Herring continued. "I want you to know that we have considered many different voices throughout this process. But at this juncture, I want to encourage unity across our school community as we work collaboratively through this pandemic and continue to put our students and staff first."
You can read the superintendent's full blog post here.
The news comes as the state begins to see an upward trend in the number of new cases confirmed each day. On Friday, there were more than 1,600 new positive cases, well above what had been the average. Experts are also warning that the spike in cases man states across the country are seeing - could be coming to Georgia.