Will DeKalb Schools open on August 3rd as planned and what will learning look like when DeKalb Schools opens?
DeKalb Schools Re-Opening School Task Force built a DeKalb Schools Opening Framework to serve as a transition document to the new Superintendent for final decisions on how to re-open on the first day of school on Aug 3, 2020. I have read every comment and appreciate the lively online conversation.
Marshall Orson is currently the chair of the DeKalb Schools Board of Education. He addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about opening DeKalb Schools in the Fall.
2020 Chair of the DeKalb Schools Board of Education
With that said, here is what I expect and what still remains unclear:
1. The clear trend is Metro Atlanta is to push the first day of school to August 17th (e.g. Cobb and Fulton have done so). I suspect we will do something comparable.
2. I expect we will be a hybrid of in-person and virtual instruction. What that looks like is still a work in progress. I do not think we will have split shifts (morning and afternoon) because, among other things, I do not think our transportation system could support that system-wide.
3. I expect the reentry into our buildings will be gradual so that we can learn what are the obstacles to operating a school that has to change many of its standard procedures.
4. We will need to figure out how to best accommodate our vulnerable populations—students and staff—and to understand that vulnerability takes many forms—health, economics, access.
5. We will all need to be flexible and to understand that we will be in a dynamic and fluid situation. Decisions made one day may not hold a week later if circumstances change dramatically.
6. We will be making these modifications in the midst of tremendous pressure on the budget. We have to make decisions that not only hold now but also a year from now (when financially things could be worse) and for when the crises (health and financial) abate.
We are going to do our best and we will need everyone’s help to get through these challenges. Meanwhile, I hope all are safe and well.
Chair of DeKalb Schools Board of Education