Forsyth County Schools announced Monday morning that all students will have virtual learning days for the start of the semester on Thursday, Jan. 6, and Friday, Jan. 7.
The announcement states that these virtual learning days will give the district time "to assess our ability to staff schools and transport students" in light of rising COVID-19 cases across Georgia.
By the end of the day Tuesday, Jan. 4, FCS stated that each school will post details for Thursday and Friday virtual learning plans. Other details relating to mid-term makeups, extracurriculars and athletics will also be posted by each individual school.
The first two days will be asynchronous virtual learning days, and students will have the opportunity to pick up needed devices from their schools on Wednesday.
If there is staff available to fulfill needed positions, the announcement states that the district plans to resume face-to-face instruction on Monday, Jan. 10. A final decision on whether or not the system will be able to return on Monday will be made by the end of the day Friday, Jan. 7.
While all staff members will be coming back from the winter break beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 4, the district stated that all staff or students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have presented symptoms since Friday, Dec. 31, must contact their school or supervisor by the end of the day on Wednesday, Jan. 5.
"FCS firmly believes that the best way to educate students is through face-to-face instruction," the statement reads. "However, we understand and respect that some parents/guardians selected virtual instruction for their children this semester. Because staff and student schedules were created based on face-to-face and virtual enrollment, these selections may not be changed."
When the district returns to face-to-face learning, the announcement states they will be reverting to some COVID-19 measures put in place last August. These measures include:
- Only essential visitors will be allowed inside school buildings;
- Masks will be "strongly recommended;"
- Symptomatic individuals must quarantine at home.
"We continue to encourage all to social distance when feasible, wash hands often, cover up coughs and sneezes and keep work areas clean," The statement reads. "Thank you for your continued support as we work to keep our students and staff safe."
FCS sent this information to parents and guardians Monday morning following rumors spread online the previous afternoon surrounding the district's plan for opening school back up for the second semester. Leaders with the district said they will continue to use data and information on COVID-19 cases in the Forsyth County community to make future decisions.