The Forsyth County News appreciates 4F Wellness Premium Hand Sanitizer for sponsoring coverage directly related to public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, which allows our coverage to be free to nonsubscribers as a public service. Our news coverage is always independently reported, as we work to provide accurate and up-to-date information about the effects of COVID-19 in the state and region. Please consider supporting our work by subscribing to the Forsyth County News.
The Forsyth County public school district released a survey Monday that in part asks for community feedback about returning to in-person classes this fall.
The brief survey also asks for input about how the school system conducted online learning after in-person classes were ended as the novel coronavirus pandemic began to impact Georgia.
In addition, the survey asks about student access to the internet and technology devices for online learning, like Chromebooks.
Students, parents and guardians, and staff members are asked to take the survey, which can be found here.
During the Forsyth County Board of Education's virtual work session on Tuesday, May 12, Dr. Jeff Bearden, superintendent of Forsyth County Schools, said the survey was a chance for the school district to get feedback to help improve its online learning experience for students.
"Even if we are able to start school back normally in the fall, which we all hope we will, we do know there are times when we're going to need virtual instruction," Bearden said. "... We're always striving to get better."
The final question in the survey asks, "What is you comfort level with students returning physically to school in August?"
Students in Forsyth County, and much of Georgia, have been learning from home since mid-March when the first wave of school closures began in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order on April 1 to close schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
While Georgia has been among the earliest states to reopen sectors of its economy, it is unclear whether schools will reopen in the fall, and if so how they can do so safely.
Forsyth County Schools is "having a lot of international conversations" about its plans for the fall, Bearden said during last week's work session. The school system is also waiting for guidance from state officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It's still very early," Bearden said. "We're a couple of months [away from the 2020-21 school year] now. We very well could get guidance from the governor's office, department of education, CDC, before school opens in August, so we don't want to get out in front of those agencies, but we're certainly making plans internally to make sure we're prepared for whatever scenario we deal with in the fall.