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Gwinnett County Public Schools will give families two options for the fall 2020 semester: have their children attend classes in-person, or have them participate in digital learning instead.

Gwinnett County Public Schools will give families two options for the fall 2020 semester: have their children attend classes in-person, or have them participate in digital learning instead.

Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks had indicated last week that the school system was leaning in that direction, but held out the caveat of that being “if possible” and pending feedback from a survey that closed last week. The COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic caused the school system to move to digital learning for the second half of the spring 2020 semester.

On Thursday, district officials confirmed plans to have students back in the classroom when the school year begins Aug. 5. The catch is that there will be an alternative option to have a child do digital learning for the fall semester instead. Families have to make that decision early in July.

“Students will attend school based on the option chosen for all of first semester (through December),” district officials said in a statement. “A change may be made after the first nine weeks, if it is needed to better serve the student.

“On Monday, June 29, an email will be sent to the enrolling parent of every GCPS student. That parent will be asked to select one of the two options for each student in the home. Decisions must be made by July 10. Students in families who do not select an option by July 10 will be assigned to in-person instruction. Families will receive verification of their selection for each child.”

The plan announced Thursday came after a survey conducted by the district showed no option for instructing students in the fall had more than 50% support from families in the school district.

The survey, which ended last week, showed only 43% of families preferred in-class-only instruction while another 34% of families preferred digital learning-only instruction. The district said 23% of families preferred a mixture of in-person and digital learning.

“Gwinnett County Public Schools considered this feedback and other relevant information available at the time,” district officials said in a statement. “Leaders thoroughly studied combining in-person and digital learning. The many challenges related to this option make it one the school system cannot effectively manage with existing resources.

“Therefore, it was determined that the most prudent course of action is to open the school year with in-person instruction, along with an option for digital learning, for students in grades K-12.”

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I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

(4) comments

Magic7

All I can say is my taxes better not increase. If more money is needed, then parents should have to provide extra funding. Property owners who do not have children in school should not have to foot the bill for anything else. I have no children, have never had children, but 70% of the money I pay in taxes goes to the school. That is hard to swallow when you are retired and live on a very limited income.

natecollins999

This is a terrible plan that puts many at-risk teachers in danger for the virus. There are teachers above the age of 60 and others with many health conditions who will suffer from this virus. What about them? Gwinnett County Schools will have blood on its hands for this. No mandatory masks? Even though we know countries who have implemented it have crushed the spread of the virus. This simple act can save thousands of lives in Georgia, but unfortunately it is been made into a political issue and even a masculinity issue for some. Mandatory masks should be the minimum requirement and can be enforced like the dress code. Only people who have certain medical conditions should be exempt. A school is the perfect way for a virus to spread and we must take this seriously, especially with the uptick in cases in Gwinnett.

Globeheater

I agree. I’m in the same boat. No kids. I’ve been in Gwinnett and will soon be leaving simply because I am tired of paying ever increasing taxes to educate illegals and other people’s kids......

Magic7

Globeheater - I'm glad to know there are others who feel this way. What distresses me is that the Board of Education and the politicians don't care what a financial burden their spending causes taxpayers. I have a very modest home that has 1,500 square feet. Last year I paid $2,256 in taxes. Of that $2,256, $1,680 went to the school system and Gwinnett County received $537. The parents should be the ones to pay these outrageous taxes. They chose to have these kids, and they should be the ones who have to pay for their education. Alvin Wilbanks should also have his salary reduced. He is paid a mid 6 figure salary, which I think is ridiculous. Unfortunately, I can't afford to move out of Gwinnett. If I could, I would. But, that probably won't be an issue much longer. I'll probably end up losing my home if someone doesn't do something to stop the excessive spending of the school system. And for the record, these illegals should be deported. They

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