1.22 APS to Slow the Pace of Return to In-Person Learning for Students in Grades 3-12

Office of Communications and Public Engagement
130 Trinity Avenue SW | Atlanta, Georgia 30303


Ian Smith, Executive Director
404-802-2855, office
404-603-6934, cell

Seth Coleman, Media Relations Manager
404-802-2891, office
404-406-5570, cell


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

January 22, 2021


APS to Slow the Pace of Return to In-Person Learning for Students in Grades 3-12

PreK – 2 and special education students will return as previously scheduled on Monday, January 25;
Students in Grades 3-5 opting for in-person instruction will now return on February 8; students in Grades 6-12 will now return on February 16


ATLANTA – Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is slowing the pace of its Return+Learn plan for students in Grades 3-12.


Students in Grades 3-5 whose parents or caregivers opted for in-person instruction, will now return on Monday, February 8, while students in Grades 6-12 will now return on Tuesday, February 16. PreK-2 and Special Education students will return as previously scheduled on Monday, January 25.


“This slower pace will allow more time to intensify and add to our current mitigation strategies and plan in anticipation of COVID-19 surveillance testing to be provided in our schools,” APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring said. “I think this is an important and necessary step needed at this point in our Return+Learn plan.”


School administrators have worked with their school-based teams to develop unique safety plans that specifically address how in-person learning will work at each school. APS teachers and school-based staff returned to school buildings this week following strict safety and mitigation guidelines, as recommended by officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Fulton County Board of Health, which include required screening measures and temperature assessments, the use of masks and face shields, social distancing, and other hygiene and cleaning procedures. Additionally, the district has distributed personal protective equipment for students and employees to use when inside buildings. The full mitigation strategies and protocols may be viewed at www.atlantapublicschools.us/APSprotects.



Media Availability on Monday at Noon

APS will host a media availability to announce plans to provide COVID-19 surveillance testing in schools. This weekly testing will allow the District to be proactive and identify the presence of the COVID-19 virus, even in individuals who may be asymptomatic.


More details about this testing, the District’s mitigation strategies in schools and its Return+Learn plan will be provided at this media availability.


WHO: APS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Herring, APS health and other District Officials, Ron Sanders, President/Cofounder of Viral Solutions, and Dr. Benjamin Lefkove, CEO and Cofounder of Viral Solutions


WHAT: APS Media Availability


WHERE: M. Agnes Jones Elementary School – 1040 Fair St. SW.

The availability will be held outdoors at the school. Social distancing and masks are required. Due to health and safety protocols, visitor entry into the school building is not allowed.


WHEN: Monday, January 25 at 12 p.m.

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About Atlanta Public Schools

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia, serving approximately 52,000 students across 87 schools. The District is organized into nine K-12 clusters with 58 traditional schools, 18 charter schools, six partner schools, two citywide single-gender academies and three alternative programs. To learn more about Atlanta Public Schools, follow us on social media – Twitter (@apsupdate), Facebook (Atlanta Public Schools), and Instagram (apsupdate) – or visit us online at www.atlantapublicschools.us.