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'It's been completely crushing our family': Parents eye unenrolling children from APS

Upset with APS decision to push back in-person learning to next year, family chooses to unenroll rather than continue virtual learning

ATLANTA — After the Atlanta Public School District announced on Friday that in-person learning would be pushed back again, many families e-mailed 11Alive and posted on social media how disappointed they are with that decision.  

Some parents, like Hadeel Masseoud, have decided to unenroll their children.

"My first grader is behind, has meltdowns because he doesn’t want to sit in front of an iPad," Masseoud said. "My daughter doesn’t have any support for virtual learning despite her having an IEP, she is struggling a lot."

The school district sent intent to return forms where parents like Masseoud could state their preference: in-person learning or staying virtual.

According to Atlanta Public Schools, more than 38,000 intent to return forms were distributed and more than 22,000 submitted their forms by last week's deadline.

Out of that number, 10,460 chose in-person learning

While that's less than half of the respondents, APS Superintendent, Dr. Lisa Herring said one area of Atlanta had a much higher percentage.

"We did see a higher number in our North Atlanta cluster," said Dr. Herring.

The Masseouds are in that cluster along with other families 11Alive spoke to who said they are also exploring other options now besides APS. Dr. Herring said the district will keep watching the COVID numbers By January, she hopes they are down so all APS students can return to the classroom.

"Would we provide something for one cluster versus another or one part of town versus the other?  That would not be our first intent nor would that be our goal," said Dr. Herring.

For a January return to in-person learning, Dr. Herring said the number of COVID cases would still need to drop below 100 per 100,000 in both Fulton and Dekalb counties. She also said that they have not yet made a decision regarding students playing winter sports.