State Board of Education hold off on delaying school

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NORTH GEORGIA – During Thursday’s Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) meeting, the state board of education opted not to discuss a delayed school start of September 8.

For now, school start dates still remain in the hands of local school districts. Many have already pushed back the first day of school for either a couple of days or a week.

First District State Board Member Mike Long expressed his belief that children need to be back in school and to “get the schools open as quickly as possible.”

He also spoke about his concerns that some school systems are not prepared to go back to work. Board members received information that some schools aren’t meeting safety guidelines, such as social distancing or mask mandates.

Long added that no one has any data to properly gauge the situation.

Long spoke at length about the return to school and the need to properly serve Georgia’s children.

Attendance policies were also discussed concerning virtual practices, but exactly how students will be held accountable for attendance remained unclear.

The meeting was supposed to be held via live stream but moved to a call-in webinar. The state board could announce a delayed start during a called meeting.

Original Story below:

NORTH GEORGIA – Georgia STEM’s reporting that during tomorrow’s Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) state board of education meeting, they will consider pushing the school start date back to September 8. This would be a statewide mandate.

STEM added that the measure has the support of Gov. Brian Kemp.

If pushed back, GaDOE will accommodate several districts’ delayed starts, and the Georgia High School Association’s (GHSA) decision to move the start date of football.

However, GHSA hasn’t yet delayed other fall sports.

The GaDOE state board meeting will take place tomorrow at 10 a.m over a live webcast.

Fetch Your News will update this story as soon as more information becomes available.

16 Comments

  1. J. Peugh July 22, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you so much for considering changing the school day to open on September 8, 2020. We appreciate possibly saving our students and our teachers and everyone that would be working at the school thank you so much

  2. Wendy July 22, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    This only makes sense for the health and safety of our students and school employees ! I just do not believe September 8th will be long enough unless the entire state SERIOUSLY use social distancing and mask wearing to reduce the spread for the next month!

    Come on, Georgia! We can do this simple thing so kids can return to school!!!

  3. Pat Rainwater July 23, 2020 at 12:00 am

    This is ridiculous!! The only safe thing is to start school online with a start date as each district decides. It will be months before it is safe to go back to school in person. Districts have made plans, and teachers are ready to conduct virtual learning. Pushing back the start date will only delay learning. It will not be any safer to go back to school on September 8 than it will be on August 8. Virtual learning is our only safe and practical option.

    • S. Potter July 23, 2020 at 6:18 am

      This is not news. If you do your research, you will find that long before this year’s health crisis, Governor Kemp and friends had been pushing for a post-Labor Day, state-mandated school start date. Thus, the state BOE and Governor are simply piggybacking off the health crisis to advance their longstanding agenda.

  4. Jae July 23, 2020 at 6:58 am

    WE ARE NOT READY! LET THESE KIDS AND TEACHERS HOMESCHOOL!

    Questions for School Openings:

    • If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 2-3 weeks? Is their sick leave covered, paid?

    • If that teacher has 5 classes a day with 30 students each, do all 150 of those students need to then stay home and quarantine for 14 days?

    • Do all 150 of those students now have to get tested? Who pays for those tests? Are they happening at school? How are the parents being notified? Does everyone in each of those kids’ families need to get tested? Who pays for that?

    • What if someone who lives in the same house as a teacher tests positive? Does that teacher now need to take 14 days off of work to quarantine? Is that time off covered? Paid?

    • Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay?

    • Substitutes teach in multiple schools. What if they are diagnosed with COVID-19? Do all the kids in each school now have to quarantine and get tested? Who is going to pay for that?

    • What if a student in your kid’s class tests positive? What if your kid tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine? Do we all get notified who is infected and when? Or because of HIPAA regulations are parents and teachers just going to get mysterious “may have been in contact” emails all year long?

    • What is this stress going to do to our teachers? How does it affect their health and well-being? How does it affect their ability to teach? How does it affect the quality of education they are able to provide? What is it going to do to our kids? What are the long-term effects of consistently being stressed out?

    • How will it affect students and faculty when the first teacher in their school dies from this? The first parent of a student who brought it home? The first kid?

    • How many more people are going to die, that otherwise would not have if we had stayed home longer?

    30% of the teachers in the US are over 50. About 16% of the total deaths in the US are people between the ages of 45-65.

    We are choosing to put our teachers and kids in danger.

    • Dave July 23, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      Jae where do you teach? Are you the teachers union representative for your school? I ask because all of your points are straight out of their playbook and don’t follow the science. COVID-19 isn’t a danger for 99.9999999% of school age children. The teacher I’ve spoken with want to be back in class because they are dedicated to education and know virtual learning isn’t the answer. They want whats best for the kids not the teachers union.

  5. Carri July 23, 2020 at 7:57 am

    I REALLY hope they delay school and start face to face in Sept. so many reasons it is better. They totally blind sided working parents and parents that don’t have internet access with all virtual school. Not to mention the children with special needs that must go to in person school.
    Children need to get back to normal and the younger ones will be SO behind if it’s all online. This would solve A LOT of issues. The county superintendents are failing the children by mandating all virtual school. Many counties took a poll and all of them had the majority of parents wanting Face to Face in person school.
    Not to mention this virus has a 99% survival rate…

  6. Elizabeth Turner July 23, 2020 at 9:55 am

    School needs to start on August 3rd as previously decided! Our children have missed enough learning thus far! I am fully aware that having schools re-open can subject students and teachers to the exposure of covid-19. With that being said I still feel that the benefit of our children not missing out on any further learning/milestones in life is also extremely important! These children are our future! We need to keep them safe and healthy in body and in mind!

    • Melanie July 23, 2020 at 10:34 am

      I’m with you, ma’am! We are slated to start August 10th. I have seen the psychological effects of this on my kids not only from an academic perspective, but social as well. I have one child whose best part of her day is band. Gone in the spring. The other is an athlete. She has been able to have practices (finally) since late May, but we play for a TN club in Chattanooga and due to Governor Lee’s extension they can’t even scrimmage with their own teammates. It’s ridiculous, particularly when we look across the park to see a baseball tournament in progress. They need some normal!

  7. Melanie July 23, 2020 at 10:29 am

    It is easy from an elementary level to say back up the start date. However, I have concerns for students that are on an IEP that are in high schools with a semester system. (Charter district) They have finals for classes prior to Christmas break. It is difficult enough for them to stay on track with the fast pace of a semester class anyway. If the classes are structured to still finish prior to the break, I fear these kids couldn’t keep up. If they come back after break for a couple of weeks and finish the semester, they will not retain enough of the information to successfully finish the class.
    Also, virtual learning, while necessary at times, is not good for a lot of these kids. I have one child that is in Horizon and one on an IEP. My gifted student performed fine, but was incredibly bored with online classes while my other child had her routine wrecked and struggled with motivation. Both want to be in class.

  8. Sharon M. July 23, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    There is a decision that will alleviate anxiety and bring a sense of peace. It would involve compromise from all sides of this issue. I wonder if we can come together in unity and achieve that compromise?

  9. David Scott July 23, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    There are 74+ million students in the US and less than 200 deaths nationwide for ages under 24. If moving the date back to September 8 means in class learning GREAT. Online learning is not the answer. If a teacher or administrator is compromised due to age or physical condition let them stay home. Our kids need to be in school PERIOD!

  10. Angie July 23, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Push it back, if School board members can not meet in person, they do not expect kids to have class together. Until all can absolutely say it is safe for all people of age to be in a room together, no school!

  11. G Taylor July 26, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Covid may be here until next year. We can’t keep pushing school back. Until it is safe for all we should be doing virtual learning. Teachers are having to double prepare.

  12. Elizabeth Whitehead July 27, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Is there a way that television stations can dedicate cable free channels for each school district to use, to teach children at home. Now would be a great time to use the excess television, due to non sporting events and large events not being televised, to educate kids to be able to keep them all on the same learning scale/course, and be able that each of them will be able to have access to the same amount of learning portals because most households have televisions, evev if they do not possess laptops/computers, and if we can find a way to teach classes on various channels during the daytime so that each school district can have its own televised time/channel for teaching each subject.
    Sent in by: Tim & Elizabeth Whitehead

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