Marietta schools to begin semester in-person this week despite COVID surge

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Jan. 2—Marietta City Schools will begin the coming semester with in-person schooling this week, Superintendent Grant Rivera told parents in an email Sunday.

Cases of the coronavirus have been surging in Cobb County, something public health officials have attributed, in part, to the new, hyper-infectious omicron variant.

"Based on my daily conversations with public health officials, it is likely that our community has not yet reached the peak of the Omicron surge," Rivera told parents in his email. Nevertheless, Marietta City Schools' "priority is to continue to offer in-person learning, as we understand the impact on a child's academic progress and their social-emotional wellness when we shift to virtual learning."

Additionally, starting the semester in-person would allow the district to ensure students have access to their Chromebook laptops. And the district has "proactively hired additional instructional staff to assist if/when our teachers may need to care for themselves or their immediate family members."

The district could, however, switch in the coming weeks to virtual learning "due to staffing dynamics," Rivera cautioned. "However, that time is not now."

Staff returned to district buildings Monday; students will return Wednesday.

The Cobb County School District is on the same schedule as MCS, with staff reporting Monday and students to return to classrooms Wednesday. The district told the MDJ last week that it does not anticipate any significant changes to schooling and remains "focused on teaching and learning."

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