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DCSD Re-Opening Plan: Delayed Start, Open with Distance/Remote Learning Model
DeKalb County School District Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris presented the District’s re-opening plan during Monday's Board of Education meeting. The current plan recommends that the school board delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year to Aug. 17, 2020, and open schools with distance/remote learning model to account for the current substantial spread of COVID-19. The Board approved the delayed start date. Updated assessments and plan adjustments will be shared on a monthly basis. The District plan incorporated current guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health, DeKalb County Board of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), Metropolitan Regional Educational Service Agency (MRESA) in collaboration with superintendents, and local and state government officials. Community feedback from the stakeholder input survey, which generated 39,574 responses from parents, students and employees, also informed the plan. “The safety of our students and employees is the top priority for DeKalb County School District, and at this time we are recommending a distance/remote learning model to begin the year,” said Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris. “Given the substantial spread in our area right now, this option is our best choice, but it will be re-evaluated on a regular basis. Students, teachers and employees will also be receiving more resources to support them in a remote setting.” The plan calls for the learning model to match the associated disease spread in the community. With low or no spread, a traditional model will be used. With minimal or moderate spread, either traditional, hybrid or distance/remote learning will be used. Currently, the area is experiencing substantial spread, so a distance/remote-learning model is recommended. The district will continuously monitor the current COVID-19 data and assess the level of spread to determine if and when the current learning model should be adjusted. The assessments will be presented during board meetings on Sept. 14, Oct. 19, Nov. 9, and Dec. 7, 2020. The community input survey showed that most employees (70 percent) and parents (59 percent) are uncomfortable with a traditional learning model to start the year. Hybrid models and distance/remote models were more comfortable options for both groups. Students indicated a greater comfort with a traditional model.  Click here to review the entire plan presentation https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/documents/plan-presentation.pdf 
With this newly released information, we will be communicating with our stakeholders the impact and adjustments that will need to be made to accommodate a virtual school reopening plan very soon. Our staff is very busy preparing for our virtual reopening and we miss our students! Real-time information is being communicated daily, so we would appreciate the opportunity to work on your behalf to get as many answers so that communication is detailed and accurate. Stay tuned for more updates and please reach out if you have questions.
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