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Deadline approaches for Athens City Schools parents to choose between in-person and virtual learning

Parents have until midnight to fill out the form with their decision.

Posted: Jul 24, 2020 5:58 PM

The deadline for parents in Athens to decide if they want to send their children back to traditional classrooms this year or learn online because of coronavirus danger is Friday.

Lauren Clark and Lauren Hardison's children will both return to their elementary schools in person next month. They told WAAY 31 the decision wasn't an easy one to make, and their happy the district chose to still keep the traditional learning option open for the start of school.

"I'm a nurse, my husband works, we can't stay home to teach her," Hardison said.

That's why Hardison chose to send her third grade daughter back to the classroom when school begins next month.

She said after reviewing the district's reopening plan, she’s confident the school district will do what it takes to keep students safe. The reopening plan includes safety and sanitation guidelines, such as having children wear masks and small group instruction.

"I am personally confident in the school's ability to see when they might need to go to virtual, because we can do what's called blended," she said. "So if she's at school and cases begin to rise and I feel that I need her to come home and study from home and learn from home, then I can do that and that option is available."

Other parents said the decision wasn't easy, but they believe the traditional brick and mortar school is the best option.

"He was so excited to just see his principal and other kids, so we can't take that away from him. He's too social," Clark said.

Clark and Hardison say while the decision process was difficult, it is a huge weight off their shoulders.

"Once it's done, it's like now we can just move forward and take that plan and run with it I guess," Clark said.

Parents choosing the virtual option will have to keep their child enrolled into the virtual classroom for at least nine weeks. They'll have to inform the district if they'd like their child to return to the traditional classroom two weeks before the nine weeks is over.

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