Decatur schools school year to begin virtually Aug. 17, fall break cancelled

City Schools of Decatur’s 2020-21 school year will be similar to that of DeKalb County School District in that its school year has been postponed to Aug. 17 and that the school year will continue virtually due to the increase of COVID-19 cases.

During the July 14 CSD Board of Education meeting, the board also voted to cancel fall break, which was scheduled to be Sept. 21-25. DCSD has not yet decided any further changes to its 2020-21 calendar.

“The idea of people travelling and then coming back is not a good idea from the experts we’ve talked to,” said CSD Superintendent David Dude.  “A break like that, especially with that duration, kind of encourages people to go elsewhere and come back and perhaps bring some virus that wasn’t there previously.”

The days planned for fall break will be used to make up some of the days missed due to delaying the start of school, which was initially scheduled to begin Aug. 3.  

The delayed school start date will allow teachers more time to train for enhanced online learning programs that will “require teachers to be innovative, supported by live instruction, tutoring…,” said Assistant Superintendent Maggie Fehrman.

Staff pre-planning is expected to begin July 28. The staff plans to begin mostly virtual community-building with families and allowing families to pick up supplies beginning Aug. 10.

According to CSD staff, the decision to begin the school year virtually was made based on responses to an online parent and staff survey, in addition to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Department of Health.

A decision will be made Sept. 18 on whether the district will move to in-person instruction, hybrid learning or to continue remotely. 

Stay tuned for updates regarding further details on virtual learning. 

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