Atlanta Public Schools announced it would postpone the first day of school to Aug. 24, two weeks later than scheduled, and would require students to wear face masks when they are in school buildings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Public schools in Atlanta were initially expected to begin in early August, but the school board this week voted to push back that date in order to give teachers and families enough time to prepare for remote and virtual learning.
The district announced last month that students would begin the 2020-2021 school year with virtual instruction only for at least the first nine weeks of the school year, but noted that some students are able to come into school buildings in small groups for in-person activities, such as taking academic assessments, according to AJC.com.
“Face coverings are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield,” a district document states, according to the AJC.
The mandate for students to wear masks while in school buildings follows other school districts and states issuing similar requirements for students and teachers as officials begin to reimagine what the school year will look like amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said face coverings would be required for students “at all times” while inside a school building, regardless of social distancing, as the state begins rolling out plans for the 2020 school year.
The announcements come as regions have begun introducing plans that offer a part-time remote learning option, with the other part of the week in the classroom.