Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring presented her plan for a virtual start to the new school year to the Board of Education at a special called meeting on July 13.

The school board also held a first reading of Herring’s proposal to move opening day from Aug. 10 to Aug. 24. The board won’t take an official vote until Aug. 3.

Board Chair Jason Esteves said there was always the possibility that COVID-19 numbers could decrease and APS could switch to an in-person or hybrid model. He said Herring’s reopening plan allows for a quick transition.

“The move to Aug. 24 for opening day is to give teachers and staff time to prepare for virtual learning,” Esteves said.

Esteves said the board would not be voting on the reopening plan itself as that is the purview of the superintendent.

If COVID-19 numbers don’t show a decrease, the first nine weeks of the school year would be held virtually.

With a surge in COVID-19 cases, the decision to continue online learning until at least mid-October was always in the cards as the district has been following public health data.

According to the document posted by APS, the district “will implement a virtual instruction model for students where they remain enrolled at and receive instruction from teachers at their school. While similar to last spring, the model offers key improvements focused on greater connections, engagement and best practices for distance learning.”

APS said it will make sure all students and staff have internet access and computers, while the meal delivery program to in-need students and families is set to restart as well.

Read the Reopening Strategy document from Herring at this link.