GEORGIA — Whether it's in-person or online, Georgia schools are expected to be back in session later this year.
The Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Department of Public Health released June 1 back-to-school guidelines, providing guidance to help schools plan for a safe return to in-person instruction this fall. Among them are masks, frequent hand-washing and eating at desks.
The guidelines are intended to ensure the safety of students, staff, and families while remaining flexible, responsive, and achievable in the K-12 setting. The two departments stressed these are guidelines, not mandates, and are adaptive to multiple scenarios. School districts should review the guidance in consultation with their local public health departments and choose which methods to adopt.
The plan addresses practicing prevention, transporting students, entering school buildings, serving meals, transitioning between classes and spaces within the school, conducting large group gatherings, supporting teaching and learning, and protecting vulnerable populations in areas of substantial, minimal to moderate, and low to no spread of COVID-19.
For many districts, the goal is to start the school year with students returning to in-person settings — safely, but education officials acknowledge they are at the mercy of the coronavirus. If health metrics take a turn during what many experts expect to be a fall spike in COVID-19 infections, school could end up looking a lot like it did the last couple months.
Some parents who desperately want their children back in class are balancing those desires with fears of potentially exposing their children — and themselves — to COVID-19.
How are you feeling about schools reopening in the fall? Take the survey below to share your thoughts.
The survey is not meant to be a scientific poll, with random sampling and margins of error, but is meant only to gauge the sentiments of our readers in an informal way. Results will be posted Thursday.