COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Both the Cobb County School District and Fulton Schools joined a growing number in the metro Atlanta area committing to starting the school year in a fully digital format.
The Cobb school system first announced on Thursday that, after initially saying it would give parents a choice between in-person or remote learning, it "will be moving to full remote to begin the 2020-2021 school year."
Fulton Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney later announced that his system "will begin school as scheduled, however we will do so in a universal remote learning environment."
With Georgia's Covid-19 data continuing to trend in the wrong way, school systems have appeared to decide it's become increasingly untenable to hold onto the option of in-person learning, which many expressed a preference for.
"This decision has been weighing on me for a while. I know we need to get back to face-to-face instruction," Cobb Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said in a statement posted to Twitter. "That is why we tried to offer parents two options - in-person and virtual - to start the school year. Ultimately, public health guidance does not make that possible."
Looney spoke about how Fulton had already seen a spike in Covid cases among student athletes and coaches participating in sports activities, and said, "I have a hard time visualizing if with groups of 20 athletes we can't safely get together and practice and condition, I'm not sure how we can foreseeably do school in a safe manner."
That came following a public letter signed by hundreds of Fulton teachers and staff endorsing virtual learning as the "only ethical way" to get school started under current conditions.